First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Articles from No. 167, November

America in the European Mind
In recent years, there's been no shortage of commentary on European ami-Americanism and the divide between Americans and Europeans on a number of issues-religion, most of all.The reasons for such a divide are complex and tied both to history and to how...
Barbara Pym's Affectionate Irony
By the time I came of reading age-old enough to pass the portals of the library's "youth department"-the 1960s were past. I'd missed the cultural upheaval, but our family bookshelves told tales of surrender. Paperback copies of Catch-22 and The Naked...
Beauty Is as Beauty Does
Beauty Is as Beauty Does ON BEAUTY by ZADIE SMITH Penguin, 464 pages, $15 (paperback)Reviewed by J.A. GrayIN ON BEAUTY, BRITISH writer Zadie Smith has turned her attention to the post-September 11 United States and has been widely praised for the result,...
Bonhoeffer Today
The Nazi doctrine of Lebensunwertes Leben (life that is not worthy of life) had the widest possible applications, from euthanasia to the elimination of the handicapped to the mass killings at Auschwitz. While the Third Reich opposed the abortion of the...
Confessing Mysticism
Confessing Mysticism THE MYSTICISM OF SAINT AUGUSTINE: REREADING THE CONFESSIONS by JOHN PETER KENNEY Routledge, 160pages, $115Reviewed by Robert Louis WilkenFOR MANY, AUGUSTINE'S City of God seems a more difficult book than the Confessions. It is very...
Correspondence
Fostering CareI read with great interest Gregory Popcak's "Misplacing Children" (June/July). As the father of four adopted children and as a leader of an adoption ministry at our local evangelical church, adoption occupies a central place in the life...
Henry James and the Heavenly Light
The Golden Bowl was Henry James' final novel-and it remains the most morally challenging of his tales. The 1904 book tells the story of an American heiress named Maggie Verver who marries Amerigo, an Italian prince. But she is deceived about Amerigo's...
Hillbilly Thomist: Flannery O'connor, St. Thomas and the Limits of Art
HILLBILLY THOMIST: FLANNERY O'CONNOR, ST. THOMAS AND THE LIMITS OF ART by MARION MONTGOMERY McFarland, 2 vols., 706 pages, $65Flannery O'Connor understood faith as the uncomfortable and the painful cross, and she focused in all her works-even the "pain...
Jacques and Raissa Maritain
JACQUES AND RAISSA MARITAIN by JEAN-LUC BARRÉ Notre Dame University Press, 528 pages, $50First published ten years ago, this was the first true biography of Jacques Maritain, and it has had no rivals since. There have been memoirs, there have been monographs,...
Murder in the Vicarage
Murder in the Vicarage THE LIGHTHOUSE by P.D. james Knopf, 352 pages, $25.95Reviewed by Ralph C. WoodIN HIS CELEBRATED 1948 essay on detective fiction, "The Guilty Vicarage," W.H. Auden argued that the appeal of crime novels lies in their "dialectic...
Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614
MUSLIMS IN SPAIN, 1500 TO 1614 by L.P. HARVEY University of Chicago Press, 448 pages, $40At the end of the fifteenth century, Spain was the only Christian country with large Jewish and Muslim minorities. Andalusia had been ruled by the Muslims, who conquered...
Public Morality, Public Reason
A contest of worldviews in our time pits devout Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and other believers against secularist liberals and those who, while remaining within the religious denominations, have adopted essentially secularist liberal ideas about personal...
The Book of Splendor
The Book of Splendor THE ZOHAR: PRITZKER EDITION, VOL. 1 translated by DANIEL C. MATT Stanford University Press, 584 pages, $49.95Reviewed by Laurance WiederDANIEL MATT'S LANDMARK translation of the Zohar from the original tongues into English is a tour...
The Empire of Blasted Dreams
Every once in a while, we receive an exceedingly rude reminder why economics is called the dismal science. One reason being, of course, that it fancies itself a science. Raising embarrassing questions at a party celebrating the widely professed concern...
The Ends of Science
Whenever I meet with scientists, I'm always struck by their optimism-and their discontent.Mostly they are optimists, excited by the latest findings: the newly isolated gene variant that may help explain schizophrenia, the new telescopic images that reveal...
The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market & Morals
THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE: FAMILY, STATE, MARKET & MORALS edited by ROBERT P. GEORGE and JEAN BETHKE ELSHTAIN Spence, 316 pages, $29.95Who creates the meaning of marriage? If we are to understand and uphold the dignity of this institution, the shouting...
The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders' Worldview
THE MIND OF THE MASTER CLASS: HISTORY AND FAITH IN THE SOUTHERN SLAVEHOLDERS' WORLDVIEW by ELIZABETH FOX-GENOVESE and EUGENE GENOVESE Cambridge University Press, 828 pages, $31.99In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln famously remarked that...
The Regensburg Moment
It is by no means certain, but it is more than just possible, that Pope Benedict's September 12 lecture at the University of Regensburg and the controversy surrounding it will be referred to, five or twenty years from now, as "The Regensburg Moment."As...
The Return of the Fathers
In Prince Caspian, the third volume of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles ofNamia, a modern young prince has rediscovered Old Narnia. He tries to restore the damaged realm, but the power of the wicked usurper, his uncle, is too great, and Prince Caspian's motley...
The Truth about Lies
The Truth About Lies truth: A guide by simon blackburn Oxford University Press, 272 pages, $25Reviewed by Thomas S. HibbsSimon blackburn's ability to be at once engaging and rigorous is unrivaled in contemporary philosophy. As a guide to what we ought...
While We're at It
So what is the name of the enemy? A lot of candidates have been proposed and employed in the last five years: Islamic fundamentalism, Islamofascism, Islamic totalitarianism, Islamism, terrorism, or simply extremism. Islamism, as distinguished from Islam,...
White Guilt, Black Rage
In The Content of Our Character, Shelby Steele of Stanford University took on the stereotypes that continue to bedevil race relations in America. The book deservedly received a great deal of attention, much of it very critical. Now Steele is back again...
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