From What Is Left Over

Nearly a decade ago, I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Pope Benedict, “The Roots of European Culture.” He developed his theme through a discussion of medieval monasticism. The elite of the Parisian intelligentsia was in attendance, and their bewilderment was obvious. What was the . . . . Continue Reading »

Play American

Just seventy years ago, a Fortune poll reported that 62 percent of Americans listened to classical music, 40 percent could identify Arturo Toscanini as an orchestral conductor, and nine million listeners (11 percent of American households) tuned in to weekly Metropolitan Opera broadcasts from New . . . . Continue Reading »

Violent Lessons

Children are not exposed to enough violence. Yes, I know the grim statistics, how a child who enters middle school has already witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 other violent acts on TV. As he and his friends enter adolescence, they take up first-person shooter video games. In college, he becomes . . . . Continue Reading »

A Christmas Eve Carol

Mostly, I grew up a Jew among other Jews. So how had Jesus entered my imagination? How had he come to occupy its core? It took an effort of memory, but I reached back to the first time I had truly noticed him. It had happened on a Christmas Eve. Continue Reading »