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

Failed Poets

Roberto Bolaño neatly captures the spirit of The Savage Detectives in an establishing scene early in the book. Seventeen-year-old Juan García Madero is the beneficiary of an unexpected sexual favor in the back room of a restaurant. When he is close to experiencing la petite mort, a waitress pokes . . . . Continue Reading »

Grace and Truth on Campus

As a conservative Christian at a small liberal arts school, I’m a part of a small minority group in an emphatically liberal student body. Thanks to my views—as well as my willingness to share my opinion—I have had the dubious privilege of becoming, for many, the representative figure of conservative Christianity on my campus. Continue Reading »

What Can an Old Quranic Parchment Really Show?

Birmingham University has announced that it possesses what could be the world’s oldest fragments of the Muslim Holy Quran. We cannot be certain yet whether it is the oldest, as we have other sets of old Qur’anic manuscripts, such as those investigated by IRCICA in Turkey and the palimpsest ones found in the Great Mosque of Sana’a, Yemen, in 1972. But using radiocarbon dating, the Birmingham researchers suggest that this parchment fragment, written on sheep or goat skin, may date to sometime between 568 and 645. This could place this parchment within the first three decades of Islam, taking us back to the days of Muhammad or his immediate followers. Continue Reading »



Filter First Thoughts Posts