Harvard’s Postmodern Curriculum

A few years ago, the academic mandarins in Cambridge embarked on a round of curricular revision. This does not surprise. The no-there-there Core developed in the 1960s was never coherent. It endorsed the suspect “teaching ways of thinking” approach to education that basically divided up . . . . Continue Reading »

The February Issue of First Things Is Here!

We’re in the middle on annual fundraising drive here at First Things . Our work really does need your support , particularly this year, with our daily article , our new blog , and the ongoing publication of the magazine , in many ways the only journal of its kind being published today.So if you . . . . Continue Reading »

Eric Clapton: Susceptible to the Truth

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.There is no such thing as . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future of Sex and Marriage

Here’s an instructive exchange between Luke Timothy Johnson and Eve Tushnet. Johnson is a distinguished New Testament scholar at Emory University and Tushnet is a writer living in Washington, D.C. She is a recent convert to Catholicism and identifies herself as a lesbian. The exchange appeared . . . . Continue Reading »

Sarkozy and Secularism

A few years ago, I was in the middle of giving a lecture in Paris about religious persecution and martyrdom during the twentieth century when a woman stood up and shouted, “The French state has been repressing and killing Christians ever since the Revolution¯and it has to stop!” Her . . . . Continue Reading »

Marching Orders from a Postmodern Intellectual

In America we tend to have a division of labor. The university professors are dry and dusty academics. Jim Lehrer brings them on to his show , and they pull their beards and make well-considered comments about Afghan or Kurdish or Shi’ite history and its possible relevance to present affairs. . . . . Continue Reading »

Barzun at 100

Remember the culture wars? In light of September 11 and the continuing War on Terror, it seems hard to believe that there was a time when Jesse Jackson chanting with Stanford undergraduates seemed like a real threat. The fight still rages on in some quarters, however, generating, as it did two . . . . Continue Reading »

We Are the State

The news this next year will be dominated by the presidential race. That is near to inevitable. In that race, there are few things as consequential as the location of authority, and, in particular, the authority of the courts.Way back in 1956, Hannah Arendt wrote an essay titled “What Is . . . . Continue Reading »