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R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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No There There

From Web Exclusives

Every other year, the Whitney Museum’s Biennial Exhibition promises to put its finger on the pulse of contemporary American art. Curators look for the latest and the greatest, the up-and-coming work, the cutting-edge stuff. It’s then gathered and put on display at the Whitney’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The State Without an Executioner

From Web Exclusives

I don’t think anybody was surprised. On April 16, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 7-2 decision upholding the constitutional legitimacy of lethal injection as a method for executing those condemned to death for their crimes. It’s hard to imagine any other outcome. If hanging and . . . . Continue Reading »

Opium and Revolution

From Web Exclusives

Marx famously said, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” The implied analysis has become commonplace. Ordinary people suffer under a system of exploitation, and their hearts . . . . Continue Reading »

When Higher Education Isn’t

From Web Exclusives

Law professors are the last intellectuals. While most academics grind away in their disciplines, the folks in the law schools seem to have the confidence and freedom to think and write about things far removed from the technical world of law. Stephen Carter at Yale writes novels. Alan Dershowitz at . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bible Inside and Out

From the April 2008 Print Edition

James L. Kugel has long been something of an outside insider”or maybe an inside outsider. In the world of modern biblical study, he rose to rarified heights, becoming Starr Professor of Hebrew at Harvard (a position he recently left to live and teach in Jerusalem). But he never really worked . . . . Continue Reading »

How Religion Became a Wedge Issue

From Web Exclusives

People often say that religion has become more important in politics. In a way unimaginable in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, these days politicians, pundits, and pollsters give explicit attention to religion. In his famous speech nearly fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy tried to reassure his . . . . Continue Reading »

The Offense of Piety

From Web Exclusives

The intemperate, even violent tone in recent criticisms of faith is quite striking. Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens: They seem an agitated crew, quick to caricature, quick to denounce, quick to slash away at what they take to be the delusions and conceits of faith. And the phenomenon is not strictly . . . . Continue Reading »

The Tears of Abraham

From Web Exclusives

In his meditation on the sources of human community, “ Death and Politics ,” Jody Bottum makes a case for the foundational importance of death, mourning, and the grave. The dark universality of grief, he argues, glues us together. “We create true communities,” Bottum writes, . . . . Continue Reading »

Books That Matter

From Web Exclusives

Books are like minerals, buried and waiting to be found. They lie in dusty corners of used books shops or in the virtual nooks and crannies of online megastores or in remote library stacks┬»or in unread piles at home. Not all are precious. In fact, most are more like coal than gold: useful in a . . . . Continue Reading »