Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Is Modernity Good for the Jews?

In Genesis (24:10) it is said that Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, descended from Mesopotamia—or as it is called in Hebrew Aram-Naharaim, literally, a land of the two rivers. Paul Mendes-Flohr notes that when the great philosopher and theologian Franz Rosenzweig came to . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter from Jerusalem

To come to Jerusalem from Paris, or even Tel Aviv, is to succumb to the uncanny feeling that one has left the center of the West, or even its periphery, and delved into what used to be called the mysterious East. In part this is owing to the bar of the Sonesta Hotel, where I’m staying, while . . . . Continue Reading »

June/July Letters

The Question of Anti-Semitism  I enjoyed very much reading the editorial “Jews, Christians, and Anti-Semitism” (March), imbued as it is with a generosity of spirit and deep faith . . . . I appreciated the clarifying statement that to care about Jews and Judaism is to care about Israel. . . . . Continue Reading »

Reviving the Missionary Mandate

The editorial in our May 1991 issue was titled “Christian Mission and the Third Millennium.” It described the complicated connections between the Christian missionary enterprise and the future of an essentially Western civilization that is, in however ambiguous a manner, a product of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Israel Among the Nationalisms

With the apparent demise of Communism, if not of socialism, the other political pathology of modernity, nationalism, is returning to center stage. If scientific socialism carries the “progressive” idea of human universality to its extreme, nationalism carries the “reactionary” idea of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Vatican and the State of Israel

In a recently published book, Sergio I. Minerbi, formerly of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks of the Catholic Church as “the chief opponent” of the Zionist movement past and present, and he identifies “the real reasons underlying” this “hostility” as “immutable . . . . Continue Reading »

“J” in Bloom

The Book of J translated from the hebrew by david rosenberg interpreted by harold bloom grove weidenfeld, 340 pages, $21.95 The J of the title was discovered in 1711 by Henning Bernhard Witter, an obscure Lutheran pastor of Hildesheim, so obscure, in fact, that his role in the naming of this source . . . . Continue Reading »

Civility and Permissions

Who has been handing out these permission slips?” asks a writer of our acquaintance. He wants to know who determined that it is alright again to tell racist jokes in polite society, or to publish columns suggesting, none too gingerly, that Jews have excessive influence in American life. Who . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles