The Tears of Abraham

In his meditation on the sources of human community, “ Death and Politics ,” Jody Bottum makes a case for the foundational importance of death, mourning, and the grave. The dark universality of grief, he argues, glues us together. “We create true communities,” Bottum writes, . . . . Continue Reading »

Ironies in the Fire

We all complain at times about the tiresome discussions of the shifting meanings of left and right , liberal and conservative . Every publishing season, or so it seems, somebody comes along with a book that proclaims “and now for something completely different.” Such books appear under the . . . . Continue Reading »

Heroic Conservatism

Defenders of the separation of church and state deplore no period of Christian history more than the Constantinian epoch. They suspect that Constantine made the world safe for Christianity only by making Christianity a danger to the world. Christian soldiers replaced bleeding martyrs as the altar . . . . Continue Reading »

Death and Politics Revisited

On March 17 at 7:00 pm, I’ll be giving a lecture at Georgetown University’s ICC Auditorium called "Living with the Dead: Why Cities Need Cemeteries and Nations Need Memorials. " The respondents will be the New Criterion ’s Roger Kimball , National Endowment for the Arts . . . . Continue Reading »

Books That Matter

Books are like minerals, buried and waiting to be found. They lie in dusty corners of used books shops or in the virtual nooks and crannies of online megastores or in remote library stacks¯or in unread piles at home. Not all are precious. In fact, most are more like coal than gold: useful in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Newman on Conversion

Last Friday, Father Richard John Neuhaus, in a piece about the possibilities of reconverting the nation of England to the ancient faith, made a passing reference to Cardinal Newman’s diffidence about actively seeking Anglican converts to the Catholic Church and specifically cited . . . . Continue Reading »

The March Issue of First Things Is Here!

“A gift cannot so easily be severed from its giver,” writes Gilbert Meilaender, responding to the news that the prime minister of Great Britain had called for a system in which organs would simply be taken for transplant from cadavers, with their consent presumed. “When an organ is . . . . Continue Reading »

Realigning Jewish Peoplehood

On July 22, 2007, the New York Times ran an article by Harvard law professor Noah Feldman on the repercussions of his marrying outside his Jewish faith. The article, entitled “Orthodox Paradox,” details how Feldman, a Yeshiva day-school graduate, Rhodes scholar, and all-around Jewish wunderkind . . . . Continue Reading »

Apply to Be a Junior Fellow

So, if you look up higher on this page, you’ll see that First Things is beginning its search for next year’s Junior Fellows .Want to apply? These are one- or two-year internships for young writers and scholars interested in religion and public life. The positions offer the opportunity to . . . . Continue Reading »

The Conversion of England

Father John Christopher Aidan Nichols, O.P., is a figure to be reckoned with. Aidan Nichols, as he signs himself, has written extensively and authoritatively on the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar and has also authored the very useful volume The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger . He has collaborated . . . . Continue Reading »