‘Academic Religion: Playground of the Vandals’

Mankowski, Paul

First Things, May 1992

pp. 33 - 34

‘The vandal’s hatred is for the intact, the unstained, the integral; his delight is to chip the nose off the perfect statue, to soil the white wall with graffiti, to shatter the last unbroken window. His destruction is a record not only of malice but of conquest; as a dog is said to foul trees and lampposts as a way of marking territorial boundaries, so the vandal uglifies the yet-undefiled in order to chart the extent of his incursion into the world of order and decorum: his idea is that his record of destruction and effacement is something to contend with, and his self-expression more important than the delight of other in wholeness.’