Please support First Things by turning your adblocker off. Thanks!

The Light of the Torah

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has composed a message to the Christian community replete with intellectual light and heartfelt warmth, and it is a great honor to be asked to respond to him. I would like to focus on three topics: creative minorities, universalism, and Christianity in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Ecumenism from Itself

The Oberlin conference on The Nature of the Unity We Seek, which met fifty years ago, in September 1957, marked an important stage in the ecumenical movement. For the first time, the churches in North America in large numbers committed themselves to the quest for Christian unity. The composition of . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted 20

The First and the Lastby isaiah berlinnew york review books, 141 pages, $19.95 In 1996, two years before he died at the age of eighty-nine, Isaiah Berlin received a request from a professor of philosophy at Wuhan University in China, asking him to offer a prĂ©cis of his core ideas for a Chinese . . . . Continue Reading »

Why We Need Interreligious Polemics

The intellectual life is essentially and constitutively agonistic. It progresses almost entirely by struggle, by challenge and response, by thesis and antithesis, by getting it wrong and then moving, always asymptotically, toward getting it right. Hegel was wrong, so far as I can tell, about most . . . . Continue Reading »

The Death of Religious Higher Education

From time to time, a set of concerns reaches something like a critical mass. Familiar discontents vaguely felt turn into more focused anxieties, and then, all of a sudden it seems, a passel of scholars arrives at a similar analysis of what has gone so thoroughly wrong—and some similar ideas of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Demon in the Jewish Soul

Demons surface. For most people, demons surface in nightmares, but for us, for Jews, demons seem to surface in history. Pharaoh, Amalek, Nebuchadnezzar, Titus, Torquemada, Chmielnitsky, and Hitler were real demons. They killed real Jews. The night demons can be forgotten, but not the demons that . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles