R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Mall Horror Story

From First Thoughts

Omaha, my adopted hometown, was in the news last week. A nineteen-year-old went into a mall and shot a dozen people, killing eight, and then himself. A few days later I had dinner with an Israeli friend. “Suicide bombers I understand,” he told me. “They kill innocent people, but . . . . Continue Reading »

The Secular Left?

From First Thoughts

Why is it a commonplace to speak in terms of the religious right and secular left? Surely there has been a secular right: Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, supply-siders, libertarians, and so forth. And there has been a Christian Left: Walter Rauschenbusch, Dorothy Day, and of course the Democratic . . . . Continue Reading »

A Hatchet Job

From Web Exclusives

We have come to rely on Alan Wolfe as just the sort of "expert" on religion who can be trusted to keep America safe from the kinds of people who read First Things . Now he is branching out. A recent issue of the New Republic features his review of The Essential Russell Kirk: Selected . . . . Continue Reading »

That Seventies Show

From Web Exclusives

A recent issue of Horizons , the journal of the College Theology Society , a clubby American Catholic professional association, reminded me of the significant limitations of the current scene in academic theology in the United States.The issue (Vol. 34/1, Spring 2007) features a symposium on Fergus . . . . Continue Reading »

A Day in Chelsea

From Web Exclusives

Francis Bacon once wrote, "Read not to contradict and confute; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider." The sentence exaggerates. Some books are maligne and require contradiction. As Dr. Johnson knew, talk is one of the pleasures of life, and if books enrich . . . . Continue Reading »

Moses and Multiculturalism

From Web Exclusives

Moses made a mistake. He could have been a broadminded model for our liberal culture, but he ended up hopelessly partisan. He started out with an impartial outlook, but he fell under the power of a tribal deity who used him to create an exclusivist sect intoxicated with the fantasy of redemptive . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology After the Revolution

From the May 2007 Print Edition

Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians: From Chenu to Ratzinger by fergus kerr blackwell, 240 pages, $29.95 Over the last decade, a Scottish Dominican named Fergus Kerr has produced a series of books designed to orient readers to contemporary trends. In the 1997 Immortal Longings, he discussed a . . . . Continue Reading »

Philip Rieff’s Charisma

From Web Exclusives

I don’t think many would dispute that Philip Rieff was one of the most perceptive and creative intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century. His justly famous 1959 Freud: The Mind of the Moralist has never gone out of print, and rightly so, because it remains the definitive . . . . Continue Reading »

The Closing of the American Mind Revisited

From Web Exclusives

The most recent number of The Intercollegiate Review, published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, features a symposium marking the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. Has it really been that long?Bloom’s book was a real sensation . . . . Continue Reading »

Reno: Modern Art Revisited

From Web Exclusives

Two recent trips to two very different art exhibits provoked some gloomy thoughts about our times. Earlier in the fall, I visited New York City. An art-curator friend who has tried to warm me to contemporary art suggested a visit to the Leslie Tonkonow Gallery in Chelsea. Klaus Ottmann, a curator . . . . Continue Reading »