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An Ancient Clash of Civilizations

Whether or not we find these contemporary parallels apt, Rahe’s focus may help us understand Sparta’s important role in early modern Europe, on which he has written significant scholarship. Rousseau modeled his ideal communities on Sparta. American patriot Samuel Adams dreamed of his native Boston as “a Christian Sparta” that valued virtue over wealth, though New England ended up pursuing the more Athenian path of a democratic commercial republic. With the deindustrialization of America and the growth of a large standing army, we may come to appreciate the virtues of Sparta once again.

Culture By Subtraction

Could I get some mayonnaise with these fries?” I asked the garçon in my broken French, imagining I was being a bit chic in eschewing ketchup. “Impossible!” he replied. I tried to rephrase the question in the certain knowledge that I am among the world’s best speakers of broken French. . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Pope Should Do. We’re Waiting

Not for many generations has the Church amassed as much prestige as it has under John Paul II and his successors. They underline (or have so far) the formidable quality of church leadership. Since John Paul II’s elevation in 1978, no nation on earth has been led better. That prestige ought to be used in an important cause, and one where it will matter. There is a desperate cause right under the Pope’s nose. What is he doing in the Philippines and South America at a moment when, throughout Europe, Christianity is dying? Continue Reading »

Europe and Nothingness

In the wake of the horrific jihadist attack on the Paris-based journal Charlie Hebdo, the trope “satirical magazine” was regularly deployed to explain Charlie’s character and content. But that’s not quite right. Continue Reading »

Europe’s Euthanasia Craze

The case of Frank Van Den Bleeken—the Belgian murderer and rapist who requested to be euthanized rather than spend life in prison—has provoked its fair share of comment. And rightly so, the facts of this case are undoubtedly shocking. But far more shocking is the rapidly growing euthanasia culture that made this whole affair possible. This increasing normalization of euthanasia is just one of many social trends that reveals a Europe that is becoming profoundly estranged from its Judeo-Christian heritage. As that happens, European societies are losing the moral and spiritual armory with which to resist the gradual slide into a complacent nihilism Continue Reading »

Secularizations

As with most academic traditions, and especially those that are viewed as soft, there are orthodoxies and fashions, and sometimes sudden turns, that are conventionally described—following Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions of almost half a century ago—as paradigm shifts. . . . . Continue Reading »

The New “Lapsed”

In the aftermath of the victory over Communist domination of Eastern Europe, previously hidden divisions are surfacing within the churches that played such a crucial role in that struggle. For example, the recent book on religion in the Soviet Union by Michael Bourdeaux of Keston College documents . . . . Continue Reading »

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