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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 »

David as Politician

The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuelby moshe halbertal and stephen holmesprinceton, 232 pages, $27.95 Jews and Christians ought to be proud of having a Bible that contains pro-God and anti-God material. Not many religions can boast of sacred scriptures that provide support . . . . Continue Reading »

Oscar Romero, Martyr and Saint

The Scandal of Redemption: When God Liberates the Poor, Saves Sinners, and Heals Nationsby oscar romeroplough, 140 pages, $8 As the disciples were on their way to the Mount of Olives after the Last Supper, Jesus told them, “All of you will be scandalized because of me this night, for it . . . . Continue Reading »

The Theology of Foreign Policy

On matters of foreign policy, Americans are divided into two hidden camps. Not Republicans versus Democrats, nor liberals versus conservatives, nor rival schools of foreign policy you read about in college courses. The divide is primarily religious in nature—or perhaps “theological” is the . . . . Continue Reading »

Fenton Returns

The Church of Christ:  A Collection of Essays by Monsignor Joseph C. Fenton by joseph clifford fenton edited with an introduction by christian d. washburn cluny, 362 pages, $25.95 Laying the Foundation:  A Handbook of Catholic Apologetics and Fundamental Theology by joseph clifford fenton . . . . Continue Reading »

Battle for Europe

Byliśmy głupi by marcin król czerwone i czarne, 256 pages, zł 39.90 Pravým okem: Antologie současného polského politického myšlení edited by maciej ruczaj and maciej szymanowski centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury, 203 pages, kč 249 Resistance to Communism in Eastern Europe was . . . . Continue Reading »

The Prophetic Power of Humanae Vitae

One recurring theme in Pope Francis’s teaching is that human realities trump scholarly abstractions: “La realidad es superior a la idea.” His signature phrase about pastors who have the “smell of the sheep” is the folk version of this maxim. Cautions about “rigidity,” “empty . . . . Continue Reading »

A Church in Doubt

To Change the Church:  Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism by ross douthat simon and schuster, 256 pages, $26 It is beyond question that the Roman Catholic Church is currently in the throes of one of the greatest crises in its two-millennium history. In human terms, its future might be . . . . Continue Reading »

Blacklisted

I am the last living blacklisted Hollywood writer. I can’t prove this any more than I could legally prove my blacklisting at the time. (The blacklist, after all, was an illegal conspiracy subject to lawsuits.) I am reasonably certain about this claim because I knew the Hollywood writers in . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Power But Glory

Jews and Christians alike pledge a higher loyalty that they honor in ways that seem incomprehensible to the world.” So writes Fr. Romanus Cessario in “Non Possumus” (February). As an example of such incomprehensible devotion, he cites the kidnapping of the child Edgardo Mortara in 1858. The . . . . Continue Reading »

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