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R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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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 »

Irony and Its limits

From First Thoughts

I recently came across a nice turn of phrase by Jules Renard, a wry French memoir writer from the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth: “Irony does not dry up the grass. It just burns off the weeds.” Yes, I think that’s quite right, but only if the irony . . . . Continue Reading »

Was Balthasar a Heretic?

From Web Exclusives

Readers will no doubt remember the recent heated exchange in the pages of First Things . Alyssa Lyra Pitstick summarized her analysis of Balthasar’s provocative and dramatic (and by her reading unorthodox) vision of the depths of the paschal mystery. Balthasar scholar Edward Oakes, S.J., rose . . . . Continue Reading »

The Car Wreck

From Web Exclusives

This semester I’m teaching a really fun course: Foundations of the Christian Intellectual Tradition. Last week we began a two-week-long segment on Greek tragedy.“What makes a tragedy tragic?” I asked. I have a group of really sharp freshman, and they opined about this or that movie, . . . . Continue Reading »

The End of the Road

From the October 2008 Print Edition

The road dominates the American imagination, from the Oregon Trail to Route 66. That strange, in-between time of escape, freedom, and adventure: On the road, you leave behind all the ordinary routines and demands. Still, I was surprised when my daughter was assigned On the Road in her high-school . . . . Continue Reading »