R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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The Burden of History

From First Thoughts

In the pages of his blog for World Affairs, David Reiff has been musing of late about the ways in which historical consciousness influences our political and social imaginations. His reflections on historical memory, especially the tendency for societies to carefully tend the fires of past . . . . Continue Reading »

A Jewish Defense of a Catholic Preacher

From First Thoughts

Yesterday’s Jerusalem Pos t features an op-ed by Alon Goshen-Gottstei n that defends Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa’s Good Friday sermon last week at St. Peters in Rome. The sermon was in the news because Fr. Cantalamessa drew parallels between the recent media treatment of the pedophilia . . . . Continue Reading »

Keep Philosophy Away From the Barricades

From First Thoughts

Among contemporary American philosophers, Martha Nussbaum has long represented the best and the worst of the urgent liberal conscience. One feels the moral seriousness of her work—and one worries (at least I do) that intellectual corners are being cut and complexities set aside so that her . . . . Continue Reading »

More on Thiessen’s Moral Muddles

From First Thoughts

For those interested in a detailed discussion of the flaws in Marc Thiessen’s use of double effect to justify “enhanced interrogation techniques,” as well as a sober overall judgment about the moral status of our interrogation policies after 9/11, see Christopher Tollefsen’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Muddled Moral Reasoning

From Web Exclusives

In a New York Times column today, Mark Oppenheimer reviews the controversy surrounding former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen’s efforts to square waterboarding with Catholic moral doctrine. Mr. Thiessen has some ill-informed views, and Mr. Oppenheimer seems to have failed to do his homework… . Continue Reading »

Muddled Moral Reasoning

From First Thoughts

In a New York Times column today , Mark Oppenheimer reviews the controversy surrounding former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen’s efforts to square waterboarding with Catholic moral doctrine. Mr. Thiessen has some ill-informed views, and Mr. Oppenheimer seems to have failed to do his homework. . . . . Continue Reading »

France Revisited

From First Thoughts

While reading Jody Bottum’s reflections on Catholicism and modern France , I found myself disagreeing. I’m inclined to think that we have a great deal to learn from France. There is, of course, a lesson about the dangers to faith when the Church becomes intertwined with political . . . . Continue Reading »

Defending Ruth Wisse

From First Thoughts

I find it odd that Jody and David have missed Ruth Wisse’s rather obvious point about the philosophical importance of Yiddish. Yiddish was the language in which the logically complex, multi-voiced world of the Talmud made its way into Jewish folk wisdom. The ironic and indirect ways of . . . . Continue Reading »