R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Reno: Benedict XVI and Islam

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Whether or not one agrees with the pope’s historical analysis of de-Hellenization, he is surely right about its profound and deleterious influence. It is plainly the case that most Western intellectuals view Christianity in the same way that Emperor Manuel II Paleologus viewed Islam¯as a . . . . Continue Reading »

Reno: Best Schools for Theology

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U.S. New & World Report has just published its annual rankings of higher education. In addition to calling the horse race for No. 1 university, the magazine also puts out rankings of graduate programs. By their reckoning, the best place to study political theory is Harvard. Harvard is tied with . . . . Continue Reading »

Jason Byassee and female ordination

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In a recent article in the Christian Century , Jason Byassee tells the stories of theologians who recently left their Protestant denominations and were received into the Catholic Church ( "Going Catholic: Six Journeys to Rome," August 22, 2006 ). Byassee does a fine and sympathetic job . . . . Continue Reading »

George Soros and Ned Lamont

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The ancient Roman sage Seneca recounts a popular insight: "You’ve as many enemies as you’ve slaves." People are not automatically antagonistic and resentful, but the arrogance, indifference, and cruelty of the powerful can make them so. Modern American liberalism has tended to . . . . Continue Reading »

Muslim terrorists in Europe

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The British have arrested Muslim terrorists, and once again, soul-searching is very much in evidence. "Why," I hear asked, "are those born among us turning against us?" High unemployment, social isolation, anti-Muslim prejudice¯the standard explanations are canvassed. They . . . . Continue Reading »

Response to Michael Linton

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In a recent post , Michael Linton defends the Christian potential for works of art originally designed to offend and mock Christians. The idea is that the divine invasion of space and time in Jesus Christ is a pretty big shock to our otherworldly spiritual imaginations. The cross, as St. Paul . . . . Continue Reading »

More on Modern Aesthetics

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A reader wrote to correct my recent observations about the contemporary culture of transgression. It was not Robert Mapplethorpe who put the cross in a jar of urine; it was Andres Serrano. I’ll admit that most contemporary art blurs in my mind. A few months ago, I toured the Chelsea galleries. . . . . Continue Reading »

RR: A cultural earthquake

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I have long felt that the defining event of my lifetime has been an ongoing cultural revolution. A recent book by Philip Rieff, My Life among the Deathworks , confirms this. According to Rieff, from the beginnings of human history, men and women have thought that happiness comes from a disciplined . . . . Continue Reading »