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Yeah, But What Was in It for Mother Teresa?

From Web Exclusives

This article by Richard John Neuhaus, who passed away January 8, 2009, was published in the February 1999 issue of First Things, and is reprinted below in honor of the feast day of Mother Teresa.A couple of years ago physicist Alan Sokal published an article in Social Text arguing in the most abstruse postmodernistic jargon that gravity, among other things, is a social construct. It was a hoax, of course, and when Sokol publicly revealed the fact it caused quite a sensation, heaping embarrassment upon the editors and their academic colleagues who had long since lost the capacity to discern the difference between rational discourse and their trendy gibberish. The academy was not amused… . Continue Reading »

Death on a Friday Afternoon

From Web Exclusives

Exploration into God is exploration into darkness, into the heart of darkness. Yes, to be sure, God is light. He is the light by which all light is light. In the words of the Psalm, “In your light we see light.” Yet great mystics of the Christian tradition speak of the darkness in which the . . . . Continue Reading »

Benedict in America

From Web Exclusives

This article by Richard John Neuhaus, who passed away January 8, 2009 , was published in the August/September 2008 issue of First Things , and is reprinted below on the one-year anniversary of Pope Benedict’s visit. In saying that one must guard against superlatives in recounting Pope . . . . Continue Reading »

The One True Church

From the April 2009 Print Edition

Richard John Neuhaus died on January 8, 2009, at the age of seventy-two—a great loss to the magazine, to American public discourse, and to his many friends. We present here a previously unpublished essay, “The One True Church,” which he wrote in New York during his last months, together with a . . . . Continue Reading »


From the February 2009 Print Edition

As with most academic traditions, and especially those that are viewed as soft, there are orthodoxies and fashions, and sometimes sudden turns, that are conventionally described—following Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions of almost half a century ago—as paradigm . . . . Continue Reading »

On Loving the Law of God

From the February 2009 Print Edition

The Public SquareWhen I was a young Lutheran seminarian, I was struck by a professor’s forceful declaration that the phrase growth in grace is a contradiction in terms. The grace of the gospel of forgiveness is absolute, unqualified, perfect. It allows for no growth or improvement. The law of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Persistence of the Catholic Moment

From Web Exclusives

This essay by Richard John Neuhaus, who passed away January 8, 2009 , was originally printed in the February 2003 issue of First Things .In 1987, while I was still a Lutheran, I published a book titled The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World . There I argued that the . . . . Continue Reading »