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Celebrity Deaths

The recent deaths of Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and the Eagles' Glenn Frey prompted an outpouring of sorrow online. Why do we grieve when celebrities die? Is it just ‘misplaced grief,' as some say? Or is there a deeper reason why we mourn—and, indeed, should mourn—the famous? Continue Reading »

What We've Been Reading—1.29.16

Coco Chanel had no precedent in fashion. Her forerunners were the saints who denounced society and attacked the flesh. In her unrelenting seriousness, her allergy to frivolity, her “puritanical blacks” (as she called them), we recognize the Calvin who conquered Paris. The most precious relics this dubious saint left behind are handbags, dresses, and jewelry. More affordable—and only slightly less compelling—is Paul Morand’s The Allure of Chanel.

The Veneration of David Bowie

I am old enough to remember David Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust days but was never much of a fan. Before his death, I couldn’t have named a single one of his songs. I, therefore, was surprised and fascinated by the outpouring of emotion that surrounded Bowie’s death. Jeffrey Blehar opines on . . . . Continue Reading »

First Links — 1.29.16

Dispatch from Sundance
Alissa Wilkinson, Christianity Today

What Do Anti-Abortion Demonstraters Want (Besides An End to Abortion)?
Leah Libreso, Five Thirty Eight

The Trade-in Society
Alan Jacobs, American Conservative

Purity and Intelligible Light
Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., Sancrucensis

It's Time to Rebuild New York's Original Penn Station
Justin Shubow, Forbes

The Inside Story of the Turnpike Mass, from the Priest Who Led It
Fr. Patrick Behm, Church Pop

Does Europe Have a Future?
Daniel Johnson, Mosaic

The Ideal Marriage, According to Novels
Adelle Waldman, New Yorker

Witherspoon Institute Summer 2016 Seminars

The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey (where I work) is now accepting applications for seven summer seminars, on topics ranging across ethics, politics, law, medicine, religion, and metaphysics, for every age cohort from high school students to young college faculty. Brief descriptions . . . . Continue Reading »

Just One Hello from my Neighbor

I want to tell you a story. Part of it is my story. But the important part isn’t mine. It belongs to a North African woman named Fatima. And to countless others like her.I first met Fatima at Dollar Tree. It was her bright clothing that caught my eye. A colorful piece of cloth called a malhafa was . . . . Continue Reading »

Social Justice According to Michael Novak

First Things and Encounter Books are excited to be hosting an upcoming event with Michael Novak and Paul Adams, at which they will be discussing ideas from their new book Social Justice Isn't What You Think It Is. This is not the first time Mr. Novak has addressed the topic of social justice at . . . . Continue Reading »



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