Another day, another dollar. Well, actually, another month, another issue of First Things . And the cost is more than a dollar¯a copy of the magazine will set you back $4.95 on the newsstand. Fortunately, it’s much cheaper to subscribe for a year , and cheaper still if you sign up only for an online subscription .
But, however you get a hold of the magazine, you’ll find that it’s worth it. This month’s issue , for instance, includes " What Is Anglicanism? " Written by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, the leader of the Anglican Church in Uganda, it’s one of the most important pieces First Things has ever published. The article sets out a definitive vision of the Anglican Communion¯not as a direct attack on America’s Episcopalians and other Anglicans in the West, but as a statement of what Anglicanism itself is and how it appears to the Africans who have emerged as the largest and most important components of the worldwide communion.
That’s this month’s free article, available even to nonsubscribers on our website. You’ll have to subscribe to read the rest¯beginning with Harvey Mansfield’s " How to Understand Politics ." An extension of work that Mansfield developed for this year’s prestigious Jefferson Lecture, the essay is a serious and profound argument about the inescapable role of thumos ¯spiritedness and human striving¯in political activity. More, it is a claim that, precisely because of the ambition necessarily and rightly involved in political activity, there is no resolution to the struggles of politics: no ultimate goal of some passionless governing.
Meanwhile, Richard B. Hays reviews Jesus of Nazareth . That, you may recall, is the new book by Benedict XVI. Hays, a leading American Bible scholar, is respectful of the pope’s ambitions in the book, but along the way he is unsparing toward what he sees as the book’s serious weaknesses.
It’s hard to know in what order to mention all that this issue contains. There isn’t a weak spot in the lineup. In the book-review section, for example, we’ve got Victor Davis Hanson explaining the Battle of Lepanto , and one of the nation’s leading scholars, Joshua Mitchell, taking on the new biography of Alexis de Tocqueville .
But then, in the Opinion section, we’ve got two of our board members writing: Smith College’s Thomas Derr mocking the false claims of global-warming alarmists , and Timothy George on why and how evangelical scholars convert to Catholicism .
And then, in the Articles section, we’ve got Algis Valiunas in pursuit of French literature with " The Sacred Heart of Victor Hugo ," and the great American scholar George McKenna examining the roles of theology in the Civil War with " The Blue, the Gray, and the Bible ." We’ve even got " Work Song ," an important new poem from David Mason, one of the nation’s fastest-rising poets.
More, there’s serious exchanges in the Correspondence section between Sally Thomas and her critics on homeschooling, Vienna’s Cardinal Schönborn and his critics on evolution and design, and George Weigel and his critics on just war. And that’s to say nothing of Mark Movsesian’s fine review of Robert Kagan’s new book Dangerous Nation , or The Public Square , the most popular feature of First Things , the monthly column by Richard John Neuhaus.
From top to bottom, it’s as strong an issue as we’ve ever put out. And it could be yours for just $4.95 and a long walk in this summer’s heat all the way down to the local newsstand. Why not save yourself some money and some effort by subscribing today ?