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Pro-Life Liturgy

An icon of the Annunciation appears on the central altar doors of every Orthodox Christian church. The “royal doors” are double doors, so the icon is a diptych, with Gabriel on the left and Mary on the right. As a young child, I found the movement of this icon mesmerizing as the doors opened and . . . . Continue Reading »

“Heaven and Everything Else”

I first read Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man less than twenty years after its publication. It was already a classic among readers who cherished the few works of Jewish thought written in artful, eloquent English for a literate audience. Heschel summoned . . . . Continue Reading »

Pelagius the Progressive

The year 2018 marked the sixteen-hundredth anniversary of the excommunication of one of Christianity’s most famous heretics: the fifth-century monk Pelagius, who gave his name to “Pelagianism,” the set of beliefs that denies the doctrine of original sin and the need for grace in order to live . . . . Continue Reading »

A Religion of Activism

In 2002, in these pages, Peter Berger, the late American socio­logist, offered a succinct summary of the health and status of sociology. In Invitation to ­Sociology (1963), he had praised its promise. Two generations later, he offered a much more pessimistic picture. Now, a decade and a . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

God’s Supersessionism David Novak (“Supersessionism Hard and Soft,” February) clearly demonstrates the negative consequences of the “hard” supersessionism and the positive benefits of the “soft.” I consider myself a soft supersessionist, meaning that the covenant God made with the Jews . . . . Continue Reading »

Evangelicals and Zen Masters

One evening in 1995, at an evangelical Bible study in New Jersey for twenty-­somethings, I learned that an acquaintance of mine had just dropped out of medical school and was planning to drive to a Hare Krishna ashram in Northern California. We were both tired of the kind of evangelical . . . . Continue Reading »

Violence and Politesse

Of all the places I’ve worked and played in my life, the politest one, the one where people were the most courteous and quiet, was a boxing gym in Decatur, Georgia. I hung out there for two years when I was in my early fifties, the boxing workouts being just right for an older guy. If you take it . . . . Continue Reading »

Mild and Equitable Establishments

Whitefish Mountain, a ski resort in northwest Montana, is known for its spicy terrain, rime-clothed “snow ghosts,” and postcard-perfect views of Glacier ­National Park. And, of course, for “Big Mountain Jesus.” Big Mountain Jesus is a kitschy but beloved dashboard-ornament-style . . . . Continue Reading »

A Certain Idea of France

De Gaulle by julian jackson harvard, 928 pages, $39.95 Using pick handles and rifle butts, the police force of one of the world’s most civilized countries surrounded and savagely beat hundreds of dark-skinned men. They then threw them into the beautiful river that flows through a city celebrated . . . . Continue Reading »

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