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

The Pope (and the Huns) Wore Prada

One of the highlights of the current season at New York’s Metropolitan Opera was the house’s first-ever production of Giuseppe Verdi’s rarely performed Attila . The cast featured Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov as the Hun of the title and included veteran American bass Samuel Ramey in . . . . Continue Reading »

a minor in philosophy

For John Locke, the world was to be understood through the senses, and only through the senses.  He believed in natural law and natural right.  He believed that people are a blank slate at birth.For John Locke, the world is what he makes it.  He apparently controls the lives of people . . . . Continue Reading »

Teen Suicide

The talk-show story of the year: Nine arrests after a teen’s suicide . This strikes me as a dangerous precedent. The psychology of a suicide often includes a feeling of “I’ll make them all pay.” The thought that you could have your persecutors arrested by killing . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

Matthew Levering reviews Hans Boersma’s  Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology : Boersma’s book is much more than a survey of key aspects of the ressourcement approach, although it is that. Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology opens up a new way of . . . . Continue Reading »

Catch The Last Station

There was a time that the death of a great artist was a time of national mourning, when even those inhabiting the lowest social stratum shed tears for one who had given voice to their nation’s hopes, aspirations, and perceived nobility. When Giuseppe Verdi kicked, a concourse of hoi polloi . . . . Continue Reading »

Entering the Seraglio

Saturday night my wife and I went to the symphony. One of the pieces we heard was Symphony no. 4 by Sergei Prokofiev. In the program notes, one of the things we were informed about this symphony was that it borrowed heavily from an earlier work, which was a ballet entitled The Prodigal Son. . . . . Continue Reading »

Bentham on Law and Morality

Let a student announce that law and morality are separate things and that morality can’t be legislated. Many heads will dutifully bob up and down expressing agreement.  Bumper sticker philosophy rules. Normally, one would resort to some great Christian master or other purveyor of natural . . . . Continue Reading »

The Tournament of Novels – Round 5

Underdogs triumph! Round 4 proved to be stunning and scandalous series of upsets: The Brothers Karamazov —heavily favored to win the tournament—was felled by The Lord Of The Rings, To Kill A Mockingbird murdered David Copperfield , and The Scarlet Letter prevented Pilgrim’s Progress . . . . Continue Reading »



Filter First Thoughts Posts