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Loving to Know

In many spheres, the question not just of what we know but of how we know is urgent and vital. I have tried to develop the notion of love as the ultimate form of knowledge and to explore its wider relevance. My history with this question begins in the 1980s, when I was growing concerned by profound . . . . Continue Reading »

Steven Pinker's Muscular Secularism

Enlightenment Now:  The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by steven pinker  viking, 576 pages, $35 Steven Pinker, as his blurb reminds us, has been reckoned by Time magazine among the “hundred most influential people in the world today.” In Enlightenment Now he devotes . . . . Continue Reading »

Liturgy of Liberalism

The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societiesby ryszard legutko encounter, 200 pages, $23.99 In The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville described the French Revolution as a religious movement: The ideal the French Revolution set before it was not merely a change . . . . Continue Reading »

Enlightenment Bible, Church Bible

The following is taken from a paper that was delivered at a conference sponsored by the Center for Pastor Theologians on November 3.In his 2005 book, The Enlightenment Bible, Jonathan Sheehan describes changes in the Bible’s role in Germany and England between the late seventeenth and . . . . Continue Reading »

Thanking the Puritans on Thanksgiving

There’s little less fashionable today than praising the Puritans, especially for their egalitarian political idealism, their promotion of genuinely humane and liberating learning, and their capacity for enjoyment and human happiness. Praising the Puritans is especially difficult for us because . . . . Continue Reading »

Ivan Karamazov's Mistake

It is has become commonplace to regard Ivan Karamazov’s “Legend of the Grand Inquisitor” as a prescient parable glorifying human freedom and defending it against the kind of totalitarian threats it would face in the twentieth century. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s angry atheist delivers an uncanny . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pizza Theory

Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historiansby Jeffrey Burton RussellPraeger, 117 pages, $12.95 Revisionist history offers satisfactions of several kinds to a certain type of writer. Not only does the reviser feel a sense of superiority to his predecessors, the benighted drudges who . . . . Continue Reading »

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