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A Rabbi for Christians

From the February 2024 Print Edition

“Judaism is not even a religion.” This striking line appears in Immanuel Kant’s Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, a book devoted to winnowing down the articles of Christian faith to what is strictly demanded by rational morality. Kant considered himself a sincere friend of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Imagined Citadel

From the March 2022 Print Edition

René Guénon was one of the twentieth century’s most important traditionalist thinkers, as well as one of its strangest intellectual figures. In more than two dozen books, he claimed to reveal the hidden principles on which civilizations had rested since the dawn of humanity. His disclosure was . . . . Continue Reading »

Masters and Slaves

From the April 2021 Print Edition

In the autumn of 1933, ­Alexandre Kojève announced to his class that history was over. He did not mean that the apocalypse was at hand, that wars and violence had ceased, that human beings would no longer love, mate, and play. Kojève called himself a god and made a radical reading of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Outsider

From the October 2019 Print Edition

“I want to read something to you. I want you to really listen to this.” Rush Limbaugh opened his radio show on January 20, 2016, in the tone he normally reserves for breaking Clinton scandals. But his topic that afternoon was less sensational, and he would spend the next thirty minutes reading . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Secular Theodicy

From the December 2017 Print Edition

I live in Berkeley, one of the most religious cities in America. Its churches are being converted into mosques and Buddhist temples, but its one true faith endures. A popular yard sign states its creed: “In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No . . . . Continue Reading »