Academic Point Counterpoint

This week was the annual meeting of the editorial council of First Things . In addition to taking care of the business that magazines have to attend to, the custom at these meetings is to take up a major subject or two. This year, Wilfred McClay of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga led the . . . . Continue Reading »

No There There

Every other year, the Whitney Museum’s Biennial Exhibition promises to put its finger on the pulse of contemporary American art. Curators look for the latest and the greatest, the up-and-coming work, the cutting-edge stuff. It’s then gathered and put on display at the Whitney’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The Transformation of Belfast

Belfast, Northern Ireland. For many people outside the British Isles, that name evokes images of shootings, bomb explosions, terrified schoolchildren, and bitter sectarian conflict between the city’s Catholic and Protestant communities. Despite having a grandmother who was a Belfast native, my . . . . Continue Reading »

The Father Pfleger Show

Stay tuned. You may yet see a Father Michael Pfleger reality show. I work in Hollywood and can say¯with tongue far from cheek¯that, right now, some one is either working on or has already made that pitch. Of course, finding a way to work in such genre staples as hot tubs and underdressed . . . . Continue Reading »

Disingenuousness and Clarity

In an act of raw judicial power, and by a one-vote margin, the California Supreme Court has declared that there is, in California law, a constitutional right for same-sex couples to enter into what the state will recognize as marriage. This despite a recent referendum in which Californians . . . . Continue Reading »

United Methodism on Abortion

The United Methodist Church’s General Conference is composed of nearly 1,000 delegates (lay and clergy) from around the world. It assembles every four years and determines¯after deliberating and voting¯what The United Methodist Church is to teach and practice, and how the church is to . . . . Continue Reading »

To Seek God in the Spirit of Truth

This essay is adapted from a commencement address delivered on May 16, 2008, to the students of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., is a great servant of our Lord and his Church. He has long been a kind of hero of mine: for his humility and moderation, and for . . . . Continue Reading »