The Catholic Gentleman: A Conversation with Dr. Taylor Marshall

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):

Catholic Gentleman

A Conversation with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 1

Dr. Taylor Marshall

Would you like to invite Dr. Marshall to speak at your men’s conference?
Please click on the photo above to learn more at his Speaking Schedule Page.

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…

…Continue reading the entire interview at The Catholic Gentleman by clicking here.

PS: Here’s the interview I did a few months back at The Whiskey Catholic on virtu0us drinking: “Whiskey Talk with Taylor Marshall”.

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  • RobinJeanne

    I absolutely love you resonses… I posted it on FB hoping some men will read it. I think to if women acted like women and and raised their standards for men even a little I think men would respond and if women allowed chivery, men would be chiverous.

  • Jared B.

    Nothing says ‘irreconcilable differences’ like “Men, if you can’t shine your shoes, you’re screwed. There I said it. Nothing says, “I’m a scrub,” like scuffed up, dull shoes.”

    I have a lot of similarities with Dr. Marshall in terms of classical philosophy, Thomistic theology, traditionalist liturgy, and ethics and so on. But I am home in a culture (Pacific Northwest) where even going so far as to wear a tie makes a statement about yourself—and not necessarily a good statement. I have never owned a pair of shoes that even could be “shined” (this is probably parallel to never having owned a single article of clothing that requires dry-cleaning). I don’t like to judge where anyone else is in their journey in life, but my personal feelings are what they are: I cannot comprehend how anyone can call himself a Christian and simultaneously claim that it matters worth a damn whether your shoes are shined or not. My head just explodes at trying to keep those [to me apparent] contradictions in harmony. Put me with Ellis Boyd Redding: “I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes?” To me, that attitude is more Catholic…and more masculine.

  • Patti Day

    The term metrosexual has numerous and conflicting interpretations, but all of them have to do with a male who is narcissistic, egotistical, immature, and seemingly feminized. It would be interesting to know the background statistics on whether these young males were raised in a family where a father, or male role model was present.

  • Dan

    I’m taking notes on some of this stuff (see especially Jen’s video post below)! Overall, I think manliness is a thing of character, the inner person, and not external practices, but given a particular culture, it definitely helps to have guidelines and models to follow, especially for those of us who weren’t parented with these ends particularly in mind. As in all things, it’s never too late to start. Better late than never!

  • Joe

    Well, I guess I’m gay… I don’t drink whiskey, don’t smoke a pipe, can’t hunt and don’t fish. My favorite clothing is a pair of boardshorts, flip flops and a sailing t-shirt. I don’t open doors for women because they’re women, I open doors for everyone. If a woman opens a door for me I say thank you and go in. If there is a woman behind me and I go through a door, I hold it open for her, the same as I would for a man or a kid.

    I don’t have any “manly” hobbies, I simply have hobbies. I’m a competitive sailor, an expert kayaker, amateur boat builder and I love hanging out with people who share those interests, whether they are men or not.

    I’m sorry if I don’t fit your ideal image of a Catholic gentleman, but I think I’m a decent person and all I want to do is be a better person, and be a good fiance (oops, I guess I’m not gay). I think declaring certain things as “manly” and “gentlemanly” is simply trying to create a stereotype. What would you do if your kid loved interpretive dancing?

  • Jasper Monroe Ylanan

    Lady Wisdom isn’t the Blessed Mother you EXCOMMUNICATED HERETIC! It is just a mere literary device! A Figure of Speech called PERSONIFICATION. We had that lesson since we were still in grade school! If I were you, I will call my teacher before and thank her for letting me pass despite the fact that my IQ is way below the Marianas Trench.

    • FrAbeArganiosa

      SHE IS SO SHAMELESS IN HER MANIFESTATIONS OF STUPIDITIES.

  • FrAbeArganiosa

    ANOTHER HALLUCINATION FROM THE DELUSIONAL HERETIC.

  • Jasper Monroe Ylanan

    And by the way, that is not a phrase. Those are sentences. Haha! You’re not only dumb in exegesis and hermeneutics but also in GRAMMAR!

  • Guest

    Answer Us! You delusional HERETIC!

    • Jasper. Calm down. Don’t use all caps.

      • Jasper Monroe Ylanan

        I am so sorry, Dr. Marshall. I really find it hard to calm down since she is so stubborn and insistent on her false doctrines and illogical reasoning. She won’t even answer our questions.

        • I think y’all should take this outside and have exchanges elsewhere.

          • Jasper Monroe Ylanan

            Ok.