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R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Universities and the Left

From First Thoughts

The recent unpleasantness at Princeton brought to mind Villanova professor Robert Maranto’s musing about the ideological tilt of academia, ” As A Republican, I’m on the Fringe .” It’s a familiar story. There are far more liberals and Marxists in the professoriate than . . . . Continue Reading »

More On Pascal’s Rule

From First Thoughts

Robert Miller rightly points out that science is consequential. It matters whether or not my doctor understands the nature of sickness and has at his disposal some strategies for cure. But Pascal’s Rule does not say that science is inconsequential. His Rule only points out that questions that . . . . Continue Reading »

Pascal’s Rule

From First Thoughts

Pascal once wrote, in so many words, that the certainty of our knowledge is inversely proportional to its significance. The truths of physics give us no words to say to a friend dying of cancer. Evolutionary biology cannot console us at the graveside. . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »