First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

This journal focuses on a religiously informed public philosophy.

Articles from No. 209, January

America, America
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Americans have always been an intensely patriotic people. Most of them love their country without reserve and without need for reflection. Devotion to the nation and its symbols is a cultural given, one that politicians ignore...
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Australia Finally Has Its First Saint
Australia finally has its first saint. She is Sr. Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), a nun who cofounded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, also known as the Josephites. MacKillop--now known as St. Mary of the Cross--and the sisters of her order...
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Bob Brown, a Member of the Australian Senate and Leader of the Australian Greens Party, Doesn't Take Criticism Very Well
Bob Brown, a member of the Australian Senate and leader of the Australian Greens party, doesn't take criticism very well. A couple of weeks before Australia's federal election last August, George Cardinal Pell published a short article in Sydney's...
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Evangelizing Islam: With Conversions Rare and Often Dangerous, Reports Gabriel Said Reynolds, Christians Debate How to Evangelize Muslims
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the book The Critique of Christian Origins, written in A.D. 995, Iranian theologian Abd al-Jabbar tells the story of a Muslim prisoner of war who converted to Christianity in Constantinople. The Byzantine emperor rewarded...
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GP2 Is the Name of One of Rome's Newest Nightclubs
GP2 is the name of one of Rome's newest nightclubs. But you won't find seizure-inducing strobe lights, sick-slick floors, or drugs such as ecstasy and crystal meth. According to the Wall Street Journal, "There is no cover charge to get past the club's...
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Keeping the Peace: Taking Issue with Church Doctrine, Elbridge A. Colby Argues for the Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Deterrence of War
Over the last few years there has been a sharp change in the rhetoric of the Catholic hierarchy on the issue of nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, even as Church leaders warned of the terrible destructive power of nuclear weapons and their profound...
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Many Pro-Choice Activists and Politicians Insist That They Personally Oppose Abortion-Are Horrified by It, in Fact-But Still Favor Keeping It Legal
Many pro-choice activists and politicians insist that they personally oppose abortion--are horrified by it, in fact--but still favor keeping it legal. This is why they describe themselves as "pro-choice" and adamantly reject the criticism that they...
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Miraculous Box
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the 1950s, late in the architect's life, Le Corbusier built the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, a magnificent pilgrimage church in the Vosges region of France, and Sainte Marie de La Tourette, a no-less-beautiful...
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Philosophy Lives: John Haldane Explains Why Stephen Hawking's Attempt to Banish Natural Theology Only Shows Why We Need It
Philosophy, Etienne Gilson observed, "always buries its undertakers." "Philosophy," according to Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, in their new book The Grand Design, "is dead." It has "not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly...
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The Last of the Saffron Monks: Susie Poppick Follows a Group of Exiled Burmese Monks as They Search America for a New Sense of Purpose
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Most mornings, U Pyinya Zawta meditates for an hour in lotus position, hands resting gently in his lap, eyes closed, feet bare, body static but for the crinkles in his maroon robe that rise and fall with his breath. Although...
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The Man-Made Messiah: Who Was the Lubavitcher Rebbe? David Novak Examines the History of Brooklyn's Legendary Jewish Leader
The most recognized face of any Jewish leader of the past fifty years belongs to the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, even more so today than at his death in 1994. There are few Jews who have not seen the picture of the Lubavitcher rebbe on billboards...
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The Ruins of Discontinuity: Reinhard Hutter Looks for Answers to the Fragmentation of Catholic Theology in America and Finds Some
On September 19, 2010, at Crofton Park in Birmingham, England, Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman. Soon afterward, on October 9, the Catholic Church in England for the first time commemorated Blessed John Henry Newman. For that day, the...
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