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Pop Goes the Culture

We made a mistake in a recent public symposium by saying, in response to a question, that we had not listened to enough rock music to have an intelligent opinion about it. A journalist reporting on the meeting cited this as evidence certain that this writer is entirely out of touch with the culture . . . . Continue Reading »

The Orthodox Jew as Intellectual Crank

My subject is “The Orthodox Jew as Intellectual Crank,” and it would be best if I began with some definitions. My dictionary defines a crank as an “ill-tempered, grouchy person,” as an “eccentric person who is overzealous in his advocacy of a private cause.” By these standards, Baruch . . . . Continue Reading »

Never the Twain

Japan: In the Land of the Brokenhearted by michael shapiro henry holt & company, 254 pages, $19.95  In recent years writing on Japan has become a veritable cottage industry. In the slew of literature promising to reveal and explain the secrets of that mysterious “and economically . . . . Continue Reading »

Feminist Theodicy

Women and Evil by nell noddings university of california press, 284 pages, $25  For centuries theologians and philosophers have been struggling with the agonizing and bewildering problem of evil. Believing Jews and Christians cannot escape the perennial dilemma of reconciling the existence of . . . . Continue Reading »

Hope for South Africa?

A Future South Africa: Visions, Strategies, and Realitiesedited by peter l. berger and bobby godsellwestview press, 344 pages, $32.50  “My dear friend, clear your mind of cant,” said Dr. Johnson in a celebrated piece of advice to Boswell. “You may talk as other people do; you may say to a . . . . Continue Reading »

A Culture of Poverty?

I hadn’t thought of Jerry Carter for at least five years. I probably wouldn’t have thought of him for at least another five if it hadn’t been for the report of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Status of Black Americans. I met Jerry in 1982. I was a reporter for the Chicago . . . . Continue Reading »

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