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On Creativity and Serving God

When it comes to creativity, some of us are of two minds. Important Jewish thinkers, including my mentor Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, suggest a positive view. They hold that when Genesis 1 describes the human being as the image of God, it means that God endows us with creative ability. When we create, . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

John Finnis’s “Abortion Is Unconstitutional” (April) has already sent shockwaves through the pro-life movement and the broader abortion debate. The piece sparked a vigorous debate with prominent conservative scholar Ed Whelan. In the New York Times, Michelle Goldberg denounced what she . . . . Continue Reading »

Bonfire of the Verities

Twenty-twenty was a tough year for the tradition-minded, and so far, 2021 isn’t any better. Those of us who prize the traditions of American governance discovered that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights aren’t worth the parchment they’re written on if We the People can be frightened into . . . . Continue Reading »

Brief Friends

The sight of old men huddled around outdoor tables, drinking coffee with one another, is familiar. In Italy, Turkey, Tunis, Buenos Aires, even fading parts of New York City—what are they talking about, in crumpled jackets and faded caps? Mostly, according to my limited eavesdropping (and . . . . Continue Reading »

Homo Amazonicus

For religious conservatives, Alec MacGillis’s Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America is one of the most important books to appear in quite some time. That may sound like an odd claim. As his title suggests, MacGillis has written about Amazon’s dramatic reorganizing of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Therapeutic Revolution

One of the most remarkable features of our society is its blithe dismissal of tradition. Religious practices that have long shaped our social and political life are held in contempt. Time-tested convictions that guided generations before us are not just second-guessed but mocked and denounced. It is . . . . Continue Reading »

Foucault’s Principalities & Powers

In the late 1960s, a sociologist described French theorist ­Michel Foucault (1926–1984) as “a sort of frail, gnarled samurai who was dry and hieratic, who had the eyebrows of an albino and a somewhat sulfurous charm, and whose avid and affable curiosity intrigued everyone.” Claude Mauriac, . . . . Continue Reading »

Eminent Boomers

Every generation thinks itself the best, or the worst, or the first, or the last. Anything to distinguish it from the generations that came before. Intergenerational contempt is nothing new, even if it purports to be: It was there even as Marcus ­Tullius Cicero was beheaded in Rome in 43 b.c. But . . . . Continue Reading »

When Campion Met Miss Anscombe

Edmund Campion (1540–81) and Elizabeth Anscombe (1919–2001) were among the most brilliant of their generations of Oxford students: he at St. John’s College, she at St. Hugh’s. Later, each held fellowships in the university and delivered sermons in the university church of St. Mary the . . . . Continue Reading »

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