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The Savor of Science

Can people who are not scientists find a path to God through casual study of the physical sciences? After Kant, the standard answer has been “no.” He argued that human knowledge is structured by mental concepts that give the illusion of metaphysical knowledge, not its reality. These categories . . . . Continue Reading »

Nuanced Patriotism

I love my country – I fear my government. I first saw that mantra as a bumper sticker in the Clinton nineties. It then began to sprout as billboards and rock-paintings in the Obama years, and it has now become the chorus to almost every song of complaint composed by American conservatives. It is . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

ECONOMISM Richard Spady’s article “Economics as Ideology” (April) has some excellent insights. Spady argues that economics functions as an ideology when it imposes its rigid anthropology—dominated by a simplistic, utility-maximizing mythology of the individual—on the material it . . . . Continue Reading »

Little Books of the Prairie

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by caroline fraser metropolitan, 640 pages, $35 The Little House Books by laura ingalls wilder edited by caroline fraser library of america,  1,490 pages, $75 In 1937, during one of the few public appearances of her career, a . . . . Continue Reading »

Latimer and Ridley Are Forgotten

Hidden in the northern suburbs of Oxford are the last traces of a path first trodden by multitudes of country folk hurrying to see the burning of the Protestant martyrs Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley on October 16, 1555, and trudging home afterward. For some years I lived very close to this track, . . . . Continue Reading »

Learning From Luther

The Making of Martin Luther by richard rex princeton, 296 pages, $27.95 1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation by peter marshall oxford, 278 pages, $24.95 A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation by craig harline  oxford, 312 pages, . . . . Continue Reading »

Soloveitchik the Zionist

Rabbi, if only I knew our suffering was paving the way for the Messiah,” cried a Jewish refugee to R. Hayyim Soloveitchik of Brest-Litovsk shortly before his death in World War I–era Warsaw. R. Hayyim rebuffed him, questioning whether it was self-evident that the advent of the Redeemer justified . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Lady of Everything

Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thoughtby rachel fulton browncolumbia, 656 pages, $75 In thirteenth-century France there lived a monk who served as confessor for many townspeople, including a beautiful married woman. Both the laywoman and her . . . . Continue Reading »

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