First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Articles from No. 196, October

Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory under the English Republic
AGAINST THRONE AND ALTAR: MACHIAVELLI AND POLITICAL THEORY UNDER THE ENGLISH REPUBLIC by Paul A. Rahe Cambridge, 432 pages, $90In 1637, Marchamont Nedham graduated from All Souls College, Oxford. Both facts, that the prestigious All Souls has ever had...
A Prayer Book of One's Own
There's a buzz in the air in the Orthodox Jewish community, and it's about the publication of a new prayer book. The Jewish blogosphere is bubbling with enthusiasm, and I overheard the proprietor of a well-known bookstore bragging that he had already...
A Tiny Pietà
My unborn son's story began, five years before he died, on my parents' screened-in porch on a cool September evening. The reception for my sister's wedding was going on around us, but my aunt was distressed. She justified her job at the abortion clinic...
Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid
The horror-film genre is multiplying like one of its own monsters, showing six-fold growth over the past decade- turning what used to be a Hollywood curiosity into a mainstream product. Not only the volume of films but their cruelty has increased, with...
Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives
BEGINNINGS: ANCIENT CHRISTIAN READINGS OF THE BIBLICAL CREATION NARRATIVES by Peter C. Bouteneff Baker Academic, 256 pages, $22.99Peter C. Bouteneff, of St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York, has done a great service to Scripture scholars and systematic...
Beyond the Wild Wood
Beyond the Wild WoodThe Annotated Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, edited by Annie Gauger. WW. Norton, 480 pages, $39.95The Wind in the Willows: An Annotated Edition by Kenneth Grahame, edited by Seth Lerer Belknap/Harvard, 288 pages, $35My history...
Charity & Unity
When the pope's new encyclical, Caritas in Ventate, appeared this summer, its ambitious scope and curious composition left many scratching their heads. The frequent rhetoric about human solidarity, embodied in institutions with global reach and authority,...
Economic Justice and the Spirit of Innovation
When the word morality comes up in connection with economics, income distribution and financial stability are usually the issues. Is it moral for rich countries to use such a high proportion of the world's resources or for investment bankers to earn...
Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion
GALILEO GOES TO JAIL AND OTHER MYTHS ABOUT SCIENCE AND RELIGION edited by Ronald L. Numbers Harvard, 302 pages, $27.95We all know the aphorism- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble, but what you think you know that just ain't so."Now,...
Letters
A Green Thought in a Green ShadeAlan Jacobs' critique of The Green Bible ("Blessed Are the Green of Heart," May 2009) was not only insightful but written with cleverness and wit. Far be it from me to respond to the article. His critique is worthy of...
Mortal Follies: Episcopalians and the Crisis of Mainline Christianity
BRIEFLY NOTED MORTAL FOLLIES: EPISCOPALIANS AND THE CRISIS OF MAINLINE CHRISTIANITY by William Murchison Encounter, 215 pages, $25.95The Episcopal Church, grande dame of mainline Protestantism, is not what she used to be. Of course, we all know that,...
Origin of the Specious
I suppose it would sound somewhat bigoted of me to say that readers should be suspicious of journalists with an appetite for Large Ideas, but I intend no insult. The journalist's chief vocation is to elucidate, simplify, and synopsize- to reduce a story...
Priest to Pontiff
Priest to Pontiff BENEDICT XVI: AN INTLMATE PORTRAIT by PETER SEEWALD Ignatius, 260 pages, $24.95Reviewed by George Cardinal PellWHEN PETER SEEWALD published a book-length interview with Cardinal Ratzinger in 1996, it was met with silence by the German...
The Book of Judges
The Book of Judges LAW AND JUDICIAL DUTY by PHILIP HAMBURGER Harvard, 686 pages, $49.95Reviewed by Michael W. McConnellRECENT EVENTS HAVE brought the ordinarily neglected subject of judicial duty to the front pages. On the campaign trail, Barack Obama...
The Day for the Religious
So the rabbis came. Or, at least, a thousand of them went to their telephones to listen to a conference call with President Obama about healthcare reform. And they learned, in the fifteen-minute briefing on a Wednesday morning, August 19, that "we are...
The Moral Witness of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
With his passing a year ago- on August 3, 2008, at the age of eighty-nine- the world was obliged to come to terms once again with Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn. It was time to sum up and take stock of the Russian Nobel laureate, antitotalitarian writer,...
The Summer of 1683
The Summer of 1683 THE ENEMY AT THE GATE: HAPSBURGS, OTTOMANS, AND THE BATTLE FOR EUROPE by Andrew Wheatcroft Basic, 368 pages, $27.50Reviewed by Victor Davis HansonWE USUALLY ASSOCIATE die struggles for control of die soudiern European and Mediterranean...
We Were Believers Then, and Young
We Were Believers Then, and Young A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO THE MEANING OF SIN AND FAITH, WITH "ON MY RELIGION" by John Rawls Harvard, 275 pages, $27.95Reviewed by Gilbert MeilaenderTo read A Brief Inquiry is to be led to ponder whether, as Wordsworth wrote,...
What Does Woman Want? the War between the Sexless
For a few interesting weeks this summercatapulted by romantic melodramas with a wide cast of characters, including Republican politicians and popular reality-show parents Jon and Kate- the question of opposite-sex marriage and its own meaning momentarily...
While We're at It
* On the front page of the Wall Street Journal, an article about thefts of hay in Texas, in which we're told, "Searing summer temperatures and a lack of rain have turned pastures here brown and crunchy, depriving cattle of the green grass they usually...
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