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Ritualed Knowing

Epistemology and ritual are rarely considered together. They are often opposed (“mindless ritual”), and ritual is more often associated with belief than with knowledge. At best, ritual is understood as an expression of knowledge that has been arrived at by other means. Dru Johnson doesn’t think these positions do justice to either ritual or epistemology. . . . Continue Reading »

The Loving Intellect

What does it mean to be an intellectual? The word comes from the Latin word for understanding, intellego. Lego has dense, multifaceted meanings: to choose, select, collect, and gather. It also means to read. When inter gets added, which means “between,” we get a compound meaning, something like . . . . Continue Reading »

The Allure of Sustainability

An energetic graduate of Wesleyan College, class of 2013, no longer proud of her achievement-packed résumé, cuts off contact with her mother, flies to Hawaii, lives in a hut, and survives on plants from her small garden. She has traded a promising position in the global economy for a reclusive, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Three Fausts

We live in an age of science and technology. To say this means more than acknowledging the benefits we have derived from their accomplishments. Science and technology now claim authority in ethics, metaphysics, and theology. We give to science privilege in settling age-old questions of right and . . . . Continue Reading »

Maintaining a Discreet Silence

The span of Jaroslav Pelikan’s academic career approaches half a century. In these decades he has made himself the modern master of Dogmengeschichte, the worthy successor of the great Harnack (an achievement appreciated by David Lotz in the May issue of First Things). . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Class Reconsidered

Roughly twenty years ago social scientists and intellectuals discovered the existence of a “new” class. Unlike the Marxist division of the world into bourgeoisie and proletariat—a division defined by each class’s relationship to production—new class theory stressed control over the . . . . Continue Reading »

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