Sin & Cinema

People are basically good, right? It’s a truism drilled into us by any number of self-help books, magazines, talk-show hosts, and pop therapy. When, from time to time, people do terrible things to each other or themselves, we are assured that just the right combination of education, medication, . . . . Continue Reading »

T.S. Eliot on Religion without Humanism

I recently needed to track down a reference in a long out-of-print anthology called Humanism and America: Essays on the Outlook of Modern Civilization , published back in 1930. Having got my citation, I was going to return the book when I caught sight, in the table of contents, of a contribution . . . . Continue Reading »

A Lesson in Deep Ecology

Deep ecology, a movement launched by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in 1972, may be contrasted to an environmentalism concerned with the depletion of resources and pollution. For one thing, deep ecology aims at nothing less than a fundamental change in religion, morality, and social . . . . Continue Reading »

Correspondence: Was Shakespeare Catholic?

I shall ignore the shrill personal attacks upon me in Robert Miola’s spleen-venting review of my book , The Quest for Shakespeare , in your August/September issue. I would, however, like to respond to the factual errors and seriously misleading rhetoric with which his review is peppered.In . . . . Continue Reading »

Scalia and the Lure of the Natural Law

Scenes from a dinner in Washington ten years ago: Irving Kristol: “What was in the Second Amendment, again?” Paul Cantor: “Irving, you don’t remember? You wrote it.”There has often been a faint recollection of the Second Amendment, because it had rarely been before the courts. The rights . . . . Continue Reading »

John Cardinal O’Connor, 1920—2000

How am I indebted to him? Let me count the ways. No, it would take too long. Suffice it to say that he received me into full communion; he ordained me a priest; he was a friend who never said no when he could say yes. And he was a great Cardinal Archbishop of New York. John Paul II called him . . . . Continue Reading »

Listening to Benedict

That’s the main thing¯to listen to what he says. I expect the texts for the public events will be posted promptly on numerous sites. Raymond Arroyo and I will be cohosting the live coverage of all the events on EWTN (check your cable listings). And I hope that, between events, I’ll . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tale of Sound and Fury

Macbeth is Shakespearean tragedy at its scariest. It opens with a crash of thunder and a flash of lightening, with a hurly-burly of fog and filthy air, with three spellbinding wicked witches¯and it only gets worse from there. Notoriously difficult to produce, Macbeth has been christened . . . . Continue Reading »

The Offense of Piety

The intemperate, even violent tone in recent criticisms of faith is quite striking. Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens: They seem an agitated crew, quick to caricature, quick to denounce, quick to slash away at what they take to be the delusions and conceits of faith. And the phenomenon is not strictly . . . . Continue Reading »

Newman on Conversion

Last Friday, Father Richard John Neuhaus, in a piece about the possibilities of reconverting the nation of England to the ancient faith, made a passing reference to Cardinal Newman’s diffidence about actively seeking Anglican converts to the Catholic Church and specifically cited . . . . Continue Reading »