Uncertain Dissonance

On Thursday, First Things will be hosting a musical performance and art talk, “Microtonality and the Fragmented Face.” Fragmentation, the breakdown of the unities and coherences that make the world intelligible, is one of the great themes of contemporary life. Our understanding of the world is . . . . Continue Reading »

First Links — 4.8.16

Liturgical Time Travel
Br. Humbert Kilanowski, O. P., Dominicana

Batman V. Superman: Battle Without Honor or Humanity
Alexi Sargeant, Acculturated

Restrictions on Women's Religious Attire
Staff, Pew Research Center

How Covenants Make Us
David Brooks, New York Times

A Happy Marriage Across Party Lines
Jeanne Safer, Wall Street Journal

The Mighty and the Almighty: George W. Bush
Hannah Malcolm, Theos

The Literary Magazine of the Dark Web
Nathan Smith, Atlantic

Give Sorrow Words: On the Many Stagings of Macbeth
Kevin D. WIlliamson, New Criterion

What I've Learned Reciting Poems in the Street
Gary Dexter, Spectator

Thoughts by the Metal Detector

Last night Rabbi Jonathan Sacks delivered an uplifting talk at the Center for Jewish History. He argued that the Jewish nation had blessed the world through words. Its commitment to wide literacy nurtured an ethic of equality on which our civilization rests (“And in thy seed shall all the nations . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future of American Catholicism

Every practicing Catholic in America is stuck between two worlds. On one hand, he inhabits a broadly secular culture, one indifferent to claims about the transcendent, in which the currency of human exchange is always some mix of money, pleasure, and power. His participation in that culture is nearly constant—it surrounds him in mass media, on the internet, in patterns of speech, in social expectations, and in the aims and operations of his government. The modern Catholic in America is swimming in secularity. Continue Reading »

Britain is Coming Apart, Too

Over at the Guardian, Paul Mason writes about the disintegration of Britain's working class. The occasion is the publication of a report on educational achievement, analyzed in terms of the ethnicity of pupils. It turns out that white British kids fall behind during their school years, with . . . . Continue Reading »

The Gospel of Jesus on Sexual Binaries

Rachel Held Evans is once again arguing against “The False Gospel of Gender Binaries.” Regrettably, she does little more than provide us with a reminder of a textbook example of eisegesis (reading “into” the biblical text one's own ideology) rather than exegesis (reading “out of” . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Do They Like Trump?

Yesterday, someone told me about a relative who lives in Middle America, struggles with a working-class job, is a religious conservative, and can't stand the sight or sound of Hillary Clinton. “I don't get it,” she said. “This guy needs help with just the kinds of programs Hillary supports, . . . . Continue Reading »