In Syria, the Dhimma Returns

From First Thoughts

This month, the conflict in Syria enters its fourth year. The latest news is that the government has recaptured the border town of Yabrud, an important opposition stronghold. In fact, Yabrud is where the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in the opposition, had been holding hostage a group of Greek . . . . Continue Reading »

What’s Your Social Class?

From First Thoughts

Here is a fun quiz from the Christian Science Monitor that purports to identify one’s socioeconomic status. The questions are about psychology, tastes, and personality traits, not salary. For example, a few test how well one identifies emotions. Our readers should pay particular attention . . . . Continue Reading »

DeGirolami on That Arizona Law

From First Thoughts

At the Center for Law and Religion Forum today, my colleague Marc DeGirolami has a trenchant post on the controversy over that Arizona law on religious freedom: The media coverage of the now-vetoed Arizona bill amending the existing Arizona RFRA has been abominable. The claim that the bill would . . . . Continue Reading »

A River Runs Through It

From First Thoughts

As a young woman in 1968, American Wallis Wilde-Menozzi moved to Rome, leaving behind a troubled first marriage and a tenured faculty position in the UK. In The Other Side of the Tiber, she reflects upon that experience and the decades that followed, in which she developed as a writer, married again and raised a family, and became acculturated to her new home. Her metaphor for remembering is the Tiber, the river that runs through Rome, carrying with it the residue of earlier times and civilizations. Like the river, she writes, one’s memories are always a fluid part of one’s present. Continue Reading »