When Art Plays Church

From First Thoughts

The Venice Biennale - the World Cup of art - just awarded top prize to Germany, the Leone d’Oro for Best National Participation, because of a church . The winning entry, built by the recently deceased artist Christoph Schlingensief, is an impressive pseudo-chapel lined with the artist’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Knowing the Beautiful

From the May 2011 Print Edition

Poetry, Beauty, and Contemplation: The Complete Aesthetics of Jacques Maritain by John Trapani Catholic University of America, 176 pages, $34 .95 The turn of 2011 saw the art world embroiled in a controversy as predictable as the Venice Biennale. This time it was a protest of the Smithsonian’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Ecumenical Ball in the Catholic Court

From First Thoughts

Richard John Neuhaus and Avery Cardinal Dulles were fond of referring to the Catholic Church’s irrevocable commitment to ecumenism.  Why then haven’t any Catholics yet taken up the Andrew and Sarah Wilson’s proposal to respond to their Lutheran pilgrimage from Erfurt to Rome . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Your Grandmother’s Atonement

From First Thoughts

Father Thomas Hopko, the former Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, relates an unusual anecdote.  He describes sitting in on the Lesbian Christology session at the American Academy of Religion, where he heard a scholar severely criticize the notion that God the Father . . . . Continue Reading »

Protestants, Feminists, and the Virgin

From First Thoughts

In his fitting article on Marian devotion, John Haldane wrote: Her unique elevation has been criticized from two opposing quarters: On the one hand by Biblical Protestants who view it as superstitious, idolatrous and entirely without scriptural foundation; and on the other by radical feminists who . . . . Continue Reading »

Academia’s Religious Turn

From First Thoughts

“It was inevitable,” writes William Johnsen in the inaugural issue of English Language Notes (Summer 2006), “that the shame associated with admitting religious belief in the secular world of the human sciences in midcentury would prepare the ground for the great succès de . . . . Continue Reading »

Hammers that Didn’t Quite Fall

From First Thoughts

We all knew that when Stanley Hauerwas, a post-Constantinian if there ever was one, was given the opportunity to review Peter Leithart’s book Defending Constantine , things were going to get ugly.  For a pacifist, Hauerwas sure can get rhetorically violent.  Here is an excerpt from . . . . Continue Reading »

Artocalypse No

From First Thoughts

The founding principles of New York’s Museum of Modern Art are not unclear: Our ultimate purpose is to establish a permanent public museum in this city which will acquire . . .   collections of the best modern works of art . . .    We solicit the support of those who are . . . . Continue Reading »