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 »

MOBiA Lecture Tomorrow Night

From First Thoughts

Artist Enrique Martínez Celaya is lecturing tomorrow night regarding Biblical themes in the show that Rusty reviewed here very positively.  So consider strolling right past the upturned noses of the irreligious art world into the Museum of Biblical Art to hear something interesting. . . . . Continue Reading »

Ecumenists Cross the Tiber

From First Thoughts

So they’ve done it. Andrew and Sarah Wilson, tracing Luther’s 1510 journey from Erfurt to Rome , have finally crossed the Tiber. And I mean that literally. They reached their destination. Ecumenism can be the lightheaded pursuit of the touchy-feely crowd who don’t like to think hard . . . . Continue Reading »

Overcoming Sexual Puritanism

From First Thoughts

Joe reports that most teenagers aren’t sexually active in America today. In his Bancroft Prize-winning biography of Jonathan Edwards, George Marsden provides some historical contrast. Here is the skinny on pre-marital sex in eighteenth century Puritan New England: “Bundling,” which . . . . Continue Reading »


From First Thoughts

In her explosively intelligent book Empress and Handmaid , Sarah Jane Boss contrasts medieval images of the Virgin with contemporary pornography: Whereas the worshipper before the Virgin in Majesty is the servant of the Lord and Lady whose presence the statue conveys, the actors in the pornographic . . . . Continue Reading »

Raphael Among the People

From Web Exclusives

“The most beautiful painting in the world,” Raphael’s Transfiguration, belongs not in a museum but in a liturgical setting, the master of pontifical ceremonies and a scholar of liturgy and sacred art recently declared in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, speaking of a painting that now sits is the Vatican’s own Pinacoteca Museum… . Continue Reading »