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Islam's Origins

In the Shadow of the Sword The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire by tom holland doubleday, 526 pages, $29.95 Islam is widely understood by both Western and Islamic scholars to have substantially engaged with the intellectual traditions of the late antique Near East’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Inevitable Scholasticism

Introduction to Scholastic Theology by ulrich g. leinsle trans. michael j. miller catholic university of america, 392 pages, $29.95 The standard narratives of twentieth-century Catholic theology written in the past forty years typically depict the ways in which modern Catholic theologians managed . . . . Continue Reading »

An Unbooming Business

After the Baby Boomers:How Twenty- and Thirty-­Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion by robert wuthnow princeton university press, 312 pages, $29.95 Baby boomers are becoming old news and dated scholarship. For nearly a half century after the Second World War, the cohort of babies . . . . Continue Reading »

The Poetry of Paradise

Paradiso by dante alighieri translated by robert and jean hollander doubleday, 944 pages, $40 With the publication of Paradiso, Robert and Jean Hollander have completed their landmark translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, begun with the Inferno in 2000 and followed by Purgatorio in 2003. Reading . . . . Continue Reading »

Altering the Psalms

The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary by robert alter w.w. norton, 560 pages, $35 The appearance of Robert Alter’s translation and commentary on the Psalms is being treated as a major literary event, with a lengthy review in the New Yorker of all places. What other biblical commentary . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted 210

Benedict XVI: The Man Who Was Ratzinger by michael s. rose spence, 182 pages, $22.95 The author of Goodbye, Good Men, a scathing and much discussed account of homosexuality in American seminaries, provides a frequently astute evaluation of what might be expected from the new pontificate. Rose’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted 209

The Physics of Christianity by frank j. tipler doubleday, 320 pages, $27.50 People who do research in fundamental physics often receive manuscripts in the mail from crackpots who think they have unlocked the secrets of the cosmos. The Physics of Christianity is in the same genre—and made . . . . Continue Reading »

The Moral Fragility of Constitutionalism

America’s Constitutional Soul by Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr. Johns Hopkins University Press, 236 pages, $32 In this collection of characteristically brilliant essays, Harvey C. Mansfield Jr., one of our nation’s most eminent conservative political theorists, defends the American Constitution as . . . . Continue Reading »

Divorce, Communitarian Style

Especially in America, when we think of the Catholic intellectual tradition we tend to think exclusively of the many varieties of Thomism. And for the decades between Leo XIII’s encyclical Aeterni Patris (1879) and the Second Vatican Council, this equation was largely accurate. Before . . . . Continue Reading »

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