The 2012 June/July issue is now available online. What does this beige issue contain?
R. R. Reno opens the magazine by reflecting on psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s new book The Righteous Mind and what it tells us about the limitations of contemporary liberalism:
Liberalism is blind in one eye—yet it insists on the superiority of its vision and its supreme right to rule. It cannot see half of the things a governing philosophy must see, and claims that those who see both halves are thereby unqualified to govern.
It is conservatives, he points out, who see both halves. He also notes the shocking argument in the Journal of Medical Ethics for the legitimacy of infanticide and remembers the co-founder of Evangelicals and Catholics Together and great friend of First Things, Chuck Colson.
In the Opinion section, you’ll find a professor’s provocative reflection on her friendship with both a devout Catholic mother of six and the CEO of the local Planned Parenthood facility, an art historian’s call for reviving true religious art, and a prospective medical student’s surprise at the contrast (and the similarities) between the religious concerns of Georgetown University Medical School and Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein School of Medicine.
The Lutheran theologian David S. Yeago argues that a confident Christian faith can absorb and sustain the achievements of modernity in his paper for the After Liberalism conference, “Modern But Not Liberal”:
Modernity considered in the context of divine providence will not be seen as a unitary phenomenon produced by one cause, be it capitalism, the printing press, or even Scotist metaphysics . . . The recognition of complexity and contingency called for by a providential understanding of history opens up a field of discernment . . . so that theological reflection can…learn to make distinctions between good and evil that respond to the subtlety and unpredictability of God’s governance, even if such reflection can never do them justice.
Yeshiva University’s Shalom Carmy and Dominican theologian Thomas Joseph White respond.
Daniel Philpott suggests that reconciliation, not the international community’s pseudo-theology of prosecution, is the remedy for the world’s war-torn societies and Ephraim Radner argues that Brad Gegory’s new book, The Unintended Reformation, neglects the deeper failures of love that better explain Christian history after the Reformation.
In the review section, Lawrence M. Krauss’ A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing disappoints Edward Feser, who points out that it doesn’t explain why there is something rather than nothing, while Jeremy Beer of the Front Porch Republic finds that even conservatives have lost a sense of place in his review of Craig G. Bartholomew’s Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today. Notre Dame’s Ann W. Astell praises Paul J. Griffiths’ commentary on the Song of Songs, Neuhaus biographer Randy Boyagoda examines Geoffrey Kabaservice’s provocative Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, and John L. Allen recommends Brendan Leahy’s Ecclesial Movements and Communities to Catholics still unaware of the contemporary ecclesial movements that John Paul II was so enthusiastic about.
In “While We’re At it,” David Mills draws our attention to the Village Voice’s capitalist commitments, Karl Barth’s cheerful “No!,” and the keynote speaker for this year’s LCWR conference, whose website invites everyone to realize their very own “evolutionary now.”
David Bentley Hart closes out the issue with a reflection on our perennial discomfort with death, reminding that “we mortals can never forge a true friendship with the eternal stranger.”