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From the May First Things: “Nature Loves to Hide”

From Web Exclusives

Two issues back, I spoke ill of a modern form of natural law theory that unsuccessfully attempts to translate an ancient tradition of moral reasoning into the incompatible language of secular reason. Because of an obscurity I allowed to slip into the fourth paragraph, several readers imagined that I was speaking in propria persona from that point on, rather than on behalf of a disenchanted modern rambling among the weed-thronged ruins; and some were dismayed… . Continue Reading »

Nature Loves to Hide

From the May 2013 Print Edition

Two issues back, I spoke ill of a modern form of natural law theory that unsuccessfully attempts to translate an ancient tradition of moral reasoning into the incompatible language of secular reason. Because of an obscurity I allowed to slip into the fourth paragraph, several readers imagined that I . . . . Continue Reading »

Si Fueris Romae

From the April 2013 Print Edition

In 1919, Davidson Black—today chiefly remembered as a colleague of Teilhard de Chardin—was made a professor in the Peking Union Medical College, an institution principally endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. His American benefactors had given him his post with the strict stipulation that he . . . . Continue Reading »

Japan's Epic

From the April 2013 Print Edition

The Tale of the Heike Translated by Royall Tyler Viking, 784 pages, $50 If you have ever read Lafcadio Hearn’s collection of Japanese tales Kwaidan , or seen Masaki Kobayashi’s brilliant film from 1965, you will recall “The Story of Mimi-nashi-Hōïchi,” which tells the tale of a blind biwa . . . . Continue Reading »

Seeing the God

From the February 2013 Print Edition

For the first ten of its eleven chapters, the Metamorphosis or Golden Ass of Apuleius (c. 125-c. 180) seems to be nothing more than a diverting, frequently ribald burlesque; but then, in the closing pages, the tone entirely changes, and all at once the farce gives way to one of the loveliest and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Long March Ahead

From the January 2013 Print Edition

I rarely talk politics, not because I have none, but because mine are too eccentric to appeal to anyone other than myself and a few equally peregrine souls, and because my pessimism regarding political institutions is often so bitterly bleak that it annoys even me. After the 2008 election, for . . . . Continue Reading »