Peter J. Leithart on the voice of the martyrs:
Last week, gunmen from the Islamic sect Boko Haram attacked the Church of the Brethren in the village of Atagara in northern Nigeria, killing two and torching the church on their way out. Over several days, the terrorist group killed dozens in the same region and forced hundreds to flee. In the northeastern city of Potiskum, thirty-one people were murdered over a three-day period recently, and a church was burned. On October 21, most churches in Potiskum cancelled Sunday services. Boko Haram terrorists have killed more than a thousand this year, nearly three thousand since their surge began in 2009. They’ve left dozens of churches in ruins.
Also today, Gerald J. Russello on the achievement of Jacques Barzun:
One of the last of the generation of critics that included Edmund Wilson, Irving Howe, and Lionel Trilling, Jacques Barzun, who died yesterday at the age of 104, developed a historically informed critical approach that, without descending into polemic, didn’t shy from defining or diagnosing Western culture. For Barzun, “the historian can only show, not prove; persuade, not convince.” To do that required both sureness of judgment as well as respect for the unpredictability and vagaries of history.