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Joe Carter is Web Editor of First Things.

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Why Avery Dulles Matters

From First Thoughts

Avery Cardinal Dulles, who Joseph Bottum described as “one of the greatest thinkers in the modern Roman Catholic church and perhaps its most distinguished representative in the United States,” died on December 12, 2008. In our May issue—now free to all readers—Thomas G. Guarino . . . . Continue Reading »

No Common Ground to be Found

From First Thoughts

In an interview with U.S. News and World Report , Deal Hudson, the director of Catholic outreach for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, explains why he thinks Obama’s language about “common ground” is disingenuous but effective. Dan Gilgoff: The Obama . . . . Continue Reading »

So You Think You Don’t Like Dance?

From First Thoughts

No one thought it would succeed. Even the executive producer doubted that an “American Idol-style competition for dancers” would work on television. Dance may be, as German musicologist Curt Sachs claimed, the “mother of the arts” but it has always been considered a highbrow form with . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Shape of World Christianity

From First Thoughts

In his new book, The New Shape of World Christianity , historian Mark Noll provides some intriguing—and, for those of us in the West, sobering—facts about the state of the faith around the globe: This past Sunday it is possible that more Christian believers attended church in China than . . . . Continue Reading »

Naming the Just Barely Nameable

From First Thoughts

Alfred North Whitehead once said, “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” After reading Micah’s post yesterday I wonder if the safest general characterization of the modern American poetic . . . . Continue Reading »

FT on the Radio

From First Thoughts

Reuven Brenner will be on Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air” today at 8:30 a.m EST/ 7:30 a.m. CST to discuss his article ” The Rule of Law and the Wealth of Nations .” The audio will be archived on under the archives for the second hour. . . . . Continue Reading »

Essential Postmodern Books?

From First Thoughts

The L.A. Times’ Jacket Copy blog has compiled a list of sixty one essential postmodern reads . While they don’t define exactly what constitutes postmodern literature, they annotate the list with certain attributes: “the author is a character, fiction and reality are blurred, the . . . . Continue Reading »

What Marriage Is—And What It Isn’t

From First Thoughts

Before we can resolve the issue of what persons can be united in marriage, says says Princeton professor Robert George in the latest issue of First Things , we must first answer the question, “What are persons ?” The view typically (if often unconsciously) held by advocates of liberal . . . . Continue Reading »