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Love and its Varieties: Christian and non-Christian


First Things presents our 2021—2022 reading group, which will discuss the nature of love and its various forms as they appear in classical works throughout the centuries. Among the topics discussed will be love’s role in life, differences between pagan and Christian understandings of love, and the harmony or opposition between desiring love (eros) and charity (agape). The reading group will meet monthly on a Thursday starting September 16, 2021, and ending May 19, 2022. The Group will be divided into a morning and evening session, and each session will complete the same readings.  


First Things is hosting our 2021 Intellectual Retreat on Solidarity in New York City. We hope to see you there!

What It Means To Be Human

R. R. Reno hosts Carter Snead for a discussion of his recent book, What It Means To Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics.

What is Essential in Life


First Things presents our 2020–2021 reading group to discuss works by Josef Pieper that focus on the themes of leisure, contemplation, festivity, and happiness. In a profound synthesis of these concepts, developed in several works, Pieper argues that the ultimate meaning of human life lies in contemplative activity, which finds its highest expression in festivity. Pieper describes the necessary prerequisites for such activity: an understanding of the world as created and an inner quiet that allows one to see reality and be “in tune with the world.”


Faith, Hope, Love

First Things and Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts are pleased to invite our readers to a virtual intellectual retreat on Josef Pieper's Faith, Hope, Love.

COVID and Religious Life

A conversation featuring R. R. Reno,  Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, and Carl R. Trueman.

First Things Reading Group


First Things is launching a reading group to discuss classical readings that focus on the proper relationship between church and state. The readings include leading American statements about church and state, arguments from the ancient world, biblical material, and theological analysis from the Catholic and Protestant traditions. We will see how the understanding of the relationship varies with different understandings of the divine and of the purpose of the political community, as well as changing historical conditions.