I had the pleasure of being interviewed yesterday by Samuel Guzman of ‘The Catholic Gentleman’ blog”. I really like what Samuel is doing at this new site for Catholic men. Also, his “Catholic Gentleman” logo is awesome (he designed it himself):
A Conversation with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 1
I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Taylor Marshall of the always fascinating blog, Canterbury Tales. Dr. Marshall is a true Catholic renaissance man and all-around gentleman. He is a college professor, PhD in Philosophy, hunter, fisherman, husband, father, author, speaker, homebrew aficionado, and, well, the list goes on. I think you’ll enjoy the wise perspectives he shares.
Dr. Taylor Marshall and his wife Joy have seven children and live in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages, which you can receive for FREE by visiting his website: taylormarshall.com. If you would like for him to speak at your men’s conference or retreat, please visit his Speaking Page.
1. What unique challenges do Catholic men face in the modern world?
There are two major challenges to men in the contemporary world:
1) The first major challenge to men is that we are called to choose two false extremes of male identity: either the soft metrosexual or the barbarian brute. Aristotle spoke of virtue as the mean between two extremes.
Men should be useful. Men should be know how to hunt animals, sharpen a knife, and use basic tools.
Men should be cultured. They should know which fork to use and have courteous manners around ladies. They should know how to act and dress respectfully.
I was at a wedding not too long ago and the groomsmen didn’t know how to tie their neckties. That’s a symptom of the general problem.
2) The second challenge is pornography and the hook-up culture of promiscuity. In elder times times, men had to funnel their procreative angst toward wooing and winning a beautiful girl for holy matrimony.
Today, naked girls are a bar visit away or a mouse click away.
I think this development has led to fearful, insecure men. In some cases angry and violent men. Pornography and promiscuity push men to either extreme.
2. You are a college professor and ardent Thomist. What practical role, if any, does philosophy have in the life of the modern Catholic man?
Philosophy has a daily application in my life. I try to read the book of Proverbs every day. There are 31 chapters and it fits well with a monthly reading plan.
The Hebrew Proverbs challenge the reader to fall in love with wisdom. Philosophy means “Love of wisdom.”
The book of Proverbs asks every man to choose between two women: Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly. The former is the personification of wisdom, right living, justice, and holiness. The latter is the personification of pleasure, drunkenness, illicit sex, and foolishness…
PS: Here’s the interview I did a few months back at The Whiskey Catholic on virtu0us drinking: “Whiskey Talk with Taylor Marshall”.