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R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Big Science, Little Consequence

From Web Exclusives

As I’ve observed in a previous posting, brain science is a hot new area of research, and some of the experts are absolutely convinced that new knowledge about brain function will lead to big changes in how we view ourselves. Once we know that what seems to be free choice is, in fact, a . . . . Continue Reading »

Conservatism and the Culture Wars

From Web Exclusives

Politics is an arena of conflict. I want a certain set of policies and laws. You want something different. We fight it out in public debate and in the electoral process. Welcome to the rough-and-tumble world of sound bites, negative advertising, and hardball tactics.It’s wrong to wring our . . . . Continue Reading »

The Challenge Facing Conservatism

From Web Exclusives

In the immediate aftermath of Obama’s election, I had to talk a friend or two off the ledge. They were apocalyptic, foaming at the mouth and muttering about socialism and the Pelosi-ization of America. At one point I had to resort to insult in order to restore sanity: “You sound like a . . . . Continue Reading »

Still More Roots Music

From First Thoughts

Geez, you write a piece on pointed musical assertions of cultural identity, and folks seem to take notice. Another friend wrote and directed me to a song by the Afrikaner folk and rock singer, Bok van Blerk. This one (not surprisingly) has generated controversy in South Africa, where liberal whites . . . . Continue Reading »

More Roots

From First Thoughts

After reading my post on Show of Hands, Paul Allen, who teaches theology at Concordia University in Montreal, wrote and passed along a link to a Quebec group that sings an edgy protest song — a protest against cultural suicide, that is. Check it out. . . . . Continue Reading »

We Need Roots

From Web Exclusives

G.K. Chesterton was a sucker for romantic gestures. Lines of soldiers with swords crossed, flags rippling in the wind, cathedral bells tolling: These sorts of scenes moved him, as did visions of lovers pledging themselves to each other in the dusky darkness of a summer evening, monks prostrate on . . . . Continue Reading »

Soulful Unbelief

From Web Exclusives

Ages ago, Lionel Trilling wrote in favor of the “little magazines.” The Partisan Review had put out an anthology after the Second World War, and Trilling’s introduction drew attention to a simple fact: There is not a large market for sophisticated literary and intellectual voices. . . . . Continue Reading »

For Capitalism

From Web Exclusives

Prosperity and success tend to relax the mind. After the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, free-market principles gained widespread support. For nearly three decades, most Americans experienced a long run of economic growth and widespread opportunity. Entire new industries emerged. Unprecedented . . . . Continue Reading »

Optimism About America

From Web Exclusives

It’s easy to be gloomy these days. Financial markets convulse almost every day, and the general economic situation does not look good. Editorial writers predict the end of American capitalism. All this is taking place against the background of a long-running anxiety that America is somehow . . . . Continue Reading »

Brain Science and the Soul

From Web Exclusives

We often hear that modern science requires us to reject traditional Christian views of the human person. The argument goes something like this: If we can see the physical process by which ideas are associated or feelings felt or decisions made, then surely we must admit that human beings are nothing . . . . Continue Reading »