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Alexi Sargeant is assistant editor of First Things. He studied English and Theater at Yale University, graduating in 2015. He has written for the American Conservative, Commonweal, New Criterion, and Aleteia, and his plays have been performed in Philadelphia and at Yale. He previously served as the Junior Fellow at First Things.

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Songs of Exile

From First Thoughts

Where has all the dark Christian music gone? It doesn’t take much listening to notice how blithe and breezy popular Christian music has become. At the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight, Leah Libresco has run the numbers and found that the lyrics of recent Christian hits skew towards life, . . . . Continue Reading »

Saintly Defiance on Stage

From First Thoughts

Franz Jägerstätter, born in 1907, led a wild youth in Austria, turned to God after fearing he had killed another man in a fight, and settled down with a wife to run a farm and father children. In 1943, he refused the draft out of a conviction that a Catholic could not fight for Nazism. Defying the entreaties of mother, neighbors, priest, and bishop, he went to the guillotine. Even after the war, Jägerstätter’s countrymen called him a traitor and denied his widow, Franziska, and their three daughters any aid. Only in 2007 was Jägerstätter beatified by Benedict XVI. . . . Continue Reading »

Titles We Didn't Choose — June/July 2016

From First Thoughts

Our June/July 2016 issue of First Things is hot off the press and available on our website. As a special piece of bonus content, I am here to share with you, loyal readers, some of our also-ran titles: headings for pieces that were suggested at our titles meeting but nixed for being too punny, too . . . . Continue Reading »

Hail Thee, Festival Day!

From First Thoughts

When I was young, my family's favorite hymn was sung on three days of the Church year. We knew it came on Easter and Pentecost, but we scratched our heads when we tried to remember the other festival day hailed in this resounding hymn. Ascension Thursday would catch us each year as a (pleasant) . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare, Four Centuries On

From Web Exclusives

This Saturday, April 23rd, marks an important anniversary: four hundred years since the death of William Shakespeare. Or, at least, four centuries on from the traditional date of Shakespeare's death, dated backwards from his funeral on April 25th, 1616. Similarly, Shakespeare's birthday is not . . . . Continue Reading »

Titles We Didn't Choose — May 2016

From First Thoughts

Our May 2016 issue of First Things is hot of the press and available on our website. As a special piece of bonus content, I am here to share with you, loyal readers, some of our also-ran titles: headings for pieces that were suggested at our titles meeting but nixed for being too punny, too punchy, . . . . Continue Reading »

Titles We Didn't Choose — April 2016

From First Thoughts

Have you had a chance to look at the April 2016 edition of First Things on our website yet? Like last month, I am offering up some behind-the-scenes bonus content here in the form of also-ran titles: headings for pieces that were suggested at our titles meeting but nixed for being too punny, too . . . . Continue Reading »

Exposure Therapy and the Way of the Cross

From First Thoughts

This Holy Week, I am feeling the need to participate in some Catholic extremism.Now of course, we live in a time when religious extremism is a major threat to the world. That’s why I find it all the more distressing that so may Americans have a warped view of what constitutes extremism. The Barna . . . . Continue Reading »