David P. Goldman is a senior editor of First Things.

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A Misty Reel

From the Aug/Sept 2013 Print Edition

Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition? by David Nirenberg Norton, 624 pages, $35 World history is the history of Israel, averred Franz ?Rosenzweig, meaning that the nations of the West so hearkened to the Jewish promise of eternal life that their subsequent history was a response to Israel, whether . . . . Continue Reading »

The Divine Music of Mathematics

From the April 2012 Print Edition

It is consoling to think that the emotions that music arouses in us have something to do with the makeup of the universe. The eternal relation of math and music has been a perennial question since Plato, from Boethius and Cassiodorus in late antiquity, through Dante’s celestial harmony in Paradiso and Shakespeare’s discussion in The Merchant of Venice. The deeper affinity between mathematics and music, though, is less consoling and more challenging: Continue Reading »

Messianic Restraint

From the November 2011 Print Edition

Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience by Richard Landes Oxford, 520 pages, $35 This is a disturbing and momentous book, for modern political thinking has trouble making sense of the intrusion of irrationality. It is conditioned by the Cold War, a geopolitical chess game . . . . Continue Reading »

Elective Antipathies

From the June/July 2011 Print Edition

Simone Weil by Palle Yourgrau Reaktion Books, 189 pages, $16.95, paper Simone Weil continues to fascinate. Civilization could be saved, she contended, only by a Platonic Christianity stripped of its carnal, Jewish side, through identification with the suffering Christ rather than in the hope of . . . . Continue Reading »

Can We Know What We Know?

From the March 2011 Print Edition

Mathematics and Religion: Our Languages of Sign and Symbol by Javier Leach Templeton, 188 pages, $19.95 A man is like a carpenter, mused Tevye the milkman; for a man dies, and so does a carpenter. Fr. Javier Leach, S.J., informs us that mathematics is pluralistic, and so are religion and . . . . Continue Reading »

Something Israel Cannot Do

From Web Exclusives

“Both sides,” wrote my colleague R.R. Reno in “Bad Dreams,” his “On the Square” entry yesterday, “recognize that the future outlines of a Palestinian state will roughly follow the 1967 boundaries, with a few square miles (perhaps fewer) in East Jerusalem as the (admittedly very) wild card.” … Continue Reading »