Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Progress Without Pause

From the February 2009 Print Edition

Dear Hannah, I know you saw the news almost a year ago about the successful cloning of human embryos by a company in California. I’m pretty sure we talked about it at the time. Unlike the claims a few years ago by Korean researchers, which turned out to be fraudulent, this one seems genuine. . . . . Continue Reading »

Education & Soulcraft

From the November 2008 Print Edition

Here is Stanley Fish, writing Save the World on Your Own Time: “Not only is the genuinely academic classroom full of passion and commitment; it is more interesting than the alternative. The really dull classroom would be the one in which a bunch of nineteen- or twenty-year-olds debate . . . . Continue Reading »

Conscience and Authority

From the November 2007 Print Edition

Nothing is more common in life than a seeming tension between the freedom of individuals and the authority of communities and their designated leaders. From individual citizens who must set aside their own desires and obey laws they think unwise, to athletes who must subordinate their individual . . . . Continue Reading »

Looking for Personality

From the October 2007 Print Edition

Persons: The Difference Between “Someone”?and “Something” by Robert Spaemann Oxford University Press, 272 pages, $85 WE SOMETIMES encounter questions that are both philosophically puzzling and practically significant. The temptation then is to bypass the philosophical puzzles . . . . Continue Reading »

Wrong from Wright

From the February 2007 Print Edition

Those of us Protestants whose heritage is relatively congregational may sometimes find ourselves thinking things would be better if only we had bishops to provide the sort of guidance that gives the church theological direction in a world that constantly raises new and difficult questions. Such a . . . . Continue Reading »

Hold the Granola

From the May 2006 Print Edition

Making a long drive home from a meeting late last summer, I found myself hungry in the early afternoon. I needed something that would be quick, inexpensive, and good. And there (providentially?) was the sign: a Burger King off the next exit. I felt like a flame-grilled Whopper, and the beauty of it . . . . Continue Reading »

Judging Politics

From the January 2006 Print Edition

Once there was no politics in the “pre-political” society God created. One day there will be no politics, in the society gathered around the throne of the Lamb. But, for now, political society exists as “a moment in parentheses,” and its structure is trinitarian in character. It . . . . Continue Reading »

Why We Work

From the June/July 2005 Print Edition

Just Work by Russell Muirhead Harvard University Press, 224 pp. $24.95 That work is essential to human life, few will doubt. Whether it should also hold some more exalted place in life”whether, rather than just working to live, we should also live to work”is less clear. It is an issue . . . . Continue Reading »

Living Life’s End

From the May 2005 Print Edition

A good bit of public attention in recent years has been focused on developments at the beginning of life: new reproductive technologies, for instance, and research on embryos. But questions about what we ought to do for those near the end of life may be more enduring and are, at least by my lights, . . . . Continue Reading »