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The Ultimate Love

As the sacrifice of the Mass is being offered, the priest pours a drop of water into the chalice, praying sotto voce, “By the mystery of this water in wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” At the heart of Christ’s oblation is . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

Andrew Willard Jones follows his masterful study of the “sacramental kingdom” of Louis IX with this sweeping historiography of the Church, from its foundations in Eden up to the present moment. The plot assumes that Christianity is in fact true and that the protagonist is the Church. He opens . . . . Continue Reading »

Marching Orders

This is an ambitious and timely book. It confronts one of the most perplexing and unfortunate developments of our day: the rise of disputes about the correct way of interpreting the Constitution of the United States, and the consequent politicization of judicial appointments. True, disagreements . . . . Continue Reading »

Hall of Mirrors

In this unexpectedly timely collection of essays, the journalist David Satter recalls an adventure that informed all his subsequent writing about Russia and the ­Soviet Union. In 1977, having met some Lithuanian dissidents, Satter set off to visit their Estonian counterparts. Eluding the police . . . . Continue Reading »

Gender After Eden

Our departure from the Enlightenment is apparent everywhere today. “Truth” is contested territory at all points on the political compass, whether in conservative cynicism about liberal bias in the “mainstream media” or liberal claims that “objectivity” is merely “whiteness” . . . . Continue Reading »

Houellebecq's Omelette

As Chekhov conveyed boredom without being boring, so Michel Houellebecq conveys meaninglessness without being meaningless. Indeed, his particular subject is the spiritual, intellectual, and political vacuity of life in a modern consumer ­society—France in this case, but it could be any . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

Forgotten Islam  Gabriel Said Reynold’s review of Mustafa Akyol’s book, Reopening Muslim Minds, makes fascinating reading (“Liberal Islam,” March). Instead of focusing on what is wrong with Islam, Akyol calls Muslims back to forgotten graces and truths in the Islamic tradition. Akyol . . . . Continue Reading »

Atmosphere

The snow this morning falls on brook and rushIn great flakes wending slantwise without purpose,The sky above a wakening tent of grey.So does my daughter wake, and say she’s sad.For, sorrow sometimes strikes us with its bolt,But mostly is a kind of atmosphere.It doesn’t enter us. We enter it,And . . . . Continue Reading »

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