Eros and Dorothy Day

From the January 2017 Print Edition

Christians, it has been said, “worry about what people are doing in bed much more than making sure everybody has a bed to begin with.” That pithy statement of conventional wisdom can be usefully tested against the life and writings of Dorothy Day. Through the Catholic Worker houses she founded, . . . . Continue Reading »

A Distinction without Discipline

From First Thoughts

If Crosby’s reform were enacted, priests would have to judge the souls of their flock. The remarried would be divided into those whose lives have a Dostoevskian tragic resonance, and those who are merely “common adulteresses.” This cruel charade would collapse before it began. Continue Reading »

Orwell and Contraception

From the April 2016 Print Edition

I n 1954, four years after George Orwell’s premature death from tuberculosis, his friend Christopher Hollis recalled: “One of the most interesting and deepest of Orwell’s beliefs was his belief in the profound evil of contraception.” Near the end of his life, Orwell expressed the view that . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Quite Nihilism

From the June/July 2015 Print Edition

Believing in absolutely nothing is harder than it looks. The ultra-skeptical ­Arcesilaus, head of the Platonic Academy in the third century b.c., tried his best: When confronted with the saying “I only know that I know nothing,” which was attributed to Socrates, he is supposed to have replied . . . . Continue Reading »