Our Secular Theodicy

I live in Berkeley, one of the most religious cities in America. Its churches are being converted into mosques and Buddhist temples, but its one true faith endures. A popular yard sign states its creed: “In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No . . . . Continue Reading »

You Can Say That

While I was talking with our longtime contributor Hadley Arkes this month, he quoted a statement that I haven’t been able to get out of my head: “One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” It’s a simple maxim, easy to remember, with balance and brevity plus the air of a schoolmarm’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Döllinger’s Unquiet Grave

The Pope and the Professor:  Pius IX, Ignaz von Döllinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age by thomas howardoxford, 312 pages, $45 John Henry Newman aside, Ignaz von Döllinger (1799–1890) was the greatest Catholic theologian of the nineteenth century. He came of age amid a golden . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics After Liberalism

The Politics of Virtue: Post-Liberalism and the Human Futureby john milbank and adrian pabstrowman and littlefield, 418 pages, $39.95 Among the ideas that compete to determine the world’s future, one can count Catholicism, Islam, and (until recently) Marxism. But only one is dominant, . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberal Tradition, Yes; Liberal Ideology, No

There are rumors of economic and political heresy at First Things. My reassessment of Michael Novak’s Spirit of Democratic Capitalism earlier this year raised suspicions that I’m guiding the journal in an “anti-capitalist” direction. Some say the magazine flirts with . . . . Continue Reading »

A Christian Strategy

The problem is the relentless aggression of liberalism, driven by an internal mechanism that causes ever more radical demands for political conformism, particularly targeting the Church. The solution is an equally radical form of strategic flexibility on the part of the Church, which must stand . . . . Continue Reading »