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A Religion for Atheists

From the February 2009 Print Edition

Alain de Botton has been engaged for many years now in an intriguing project”to get people to think of philosophy not as an abstruse academic discipline but rather as a guide to living. He has written several books in which he brings the resources of philosophical reflection to bear on topics . . . . Continue Reading »

Do-It-Yourself Tradition

From the January 2009 Print Edition

The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay Jossey-Bass, 224 pages, $23.95 Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren Thomas Nelson, 240 pages, $17.99 New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today’s Church by Jonathan . . . . Continue Reading »

A Classic Case

From the November 2008 Print Edition

History Lesson: A Race Odyssey by Mary Lefkowitz Yale University Press, 208 pages, $25 In History Lesson Mary Lefkowitz tells a story that has three distinct themes. The story itself is particular and local, largely involving some nasty academic politics at Wellesley College, but the themes are of . . . . Continue Reading »

Amis Amiss

From the June/July 2008 Print Edition

Long, long ago, in the years just preceding the Second World War”as Germany was overrunning Czechoslovakia and annexing Austria, and as Neville Chamberlain was preparing to travel to Munich to sort these things out”the novelist E.M. Forster wrote an essay called “What I . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bonds of Community

From First Thoughts

Wheaton College, where I teach, does many wonderful things that go unnoticed by the world; we seem to draw a great deal of attention only when our administration lets a faculty member go. A few years ago, the dismissal of my friend Joshua Hochschild upon his embrace of Catholicism created quite a . . . . Continue Reading »

A Commonplace Book

From the May 2008 Print Edition

Awhile back, I started keeping a commonplace book. Commonplace book is an odd phrase, perhaps, because what you are supposed to record in such a book is, from one point of view, anything but commonplace. It’s likely that, as long as people have been able to write, some have recorded memorable . . . . Continue Reading »

The Devil’s Party

From Web Exclusives

The film version of The Golden Compass opens on December 7 and it’s worth remembering that the book, part of Philip Pullman’s series of fantasy novels, was widely discussed when Pullman finished the series back in the fall of 2000. first things published two sharp discussions at the time, both . . . . Continue Reading »