What (Who?) Is a University?

There is an old story, much loved by academics, that in an address to the Columbia University faculty in 1948 Dwight Eisenhower, then President of the university, prefaced his remarks with the phrase: “Now, you employees of Columbia University . . .”A member of the faculty interjected to correct . . . . Continue Reading »

An Imposition of Ashes

Just lately from the forest and after a short time on the savannah, humanity acquired a sense of self. We awakened one morning, so it seems, and if we did not know who we were we at least knew we were not like the animals. We knew we died and the animals did not. We possessed an interior . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill

The February 12 meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is important for a number of reasons, and we should pray that it will be guided by the Holy Spirit. For Christians and all people of good will, it is always a welcome sight when estranged brothers take a new first step towards each . . . . Continue Reading »

An Invitation to a Roman Lent

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since my son, Stephen, and I spent two months in Rome—all of Lent and Easter Week—preparing a book that would allow readers to make the city’s ancient Lenten station church pilgrimage at home. But so it goes; tempus indeed fugit. Yet the . . . . Continue Reading »

An Abandoned White Middle Class

Is First Things promoting its own form of identity politics? A friend wrote recently, wondering exactly that. In my writing about our populist moment, I’ve emphasized the role of middle class whites. The relative success of Trump and Sanders shows that they’re rebelling against both left-leaning . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary at Baptism?

On an escarpment high above the Euphrates River in eastern Syria sit the ruins of Dura-Europos, one of the most important archeological finds of the twentieth century. Founded in 303 BC by the Seleucid successors of Alexander the Great, this ancient caravan city of some 8,000 to 10,000 people was . . . . Continue Reading »

The God of the Womb and the World

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Psalm 24:1 is a popular verse in Christian conservation (or creation care) circles—one I have heard often enough that it almost rings cliché. But these words struck me anew when used in a closing benediction before thousands of fellow . . . . Continue Reading »

Mainstreaming “Animal Personhood”

Complacency is cultural subversion’s best friend. You know what I mean: When a radical proposal is voiced, people chuckle and roll their eyes, believing that it can’t happen here, saying, “What will they think of next?” Thus, when the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Sea . . . . Continue Reading »

The Quotable Jung

It is a fair question to ask why the modern reader should be concerned with any of the writings from the early days of psychology. Knowledge of the biological conditions of mental illness and the psychological aspects of personality disorders has advanced, and the science has moved on. Why rehash theories of psychology promulgated by the early thinkers, many of which are just plain wrong? Continue Reading »