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

The Ultimately Liberal Condition

Things are in the saddle and ride mankind,” complained Ralph Waldo Emerson a century and a half ago. Like his disciple and Concord neighbor Henry David Thoreau, Emerson was vexed by the ironies of modern history. Technologies of the kind that had ushered in the industrial revolution were intended . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberalism vs. Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court: The Cases that Define the Debate over Church and State terry eastland november 1995, eerdmans, $31.50For all their concern about the rise of anti-democrats in post-Soviet Russia, when it comes to the decisive excellence of the American regime our . . . . Continue Reading »


The Anatomy of Antiliberalismby stephen holmes harvard university press, 330 pages, $29.95 As the 1990s bring us the recrudescence of many unfulfilled progressive enthusiasms from the 1970s, we may begin to understand that the intervening Reagan decade was indeed an exceptional period of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Liberalism That We Need

There is liberalism, and then there is liberalism. We in the post-Communist societies of Central and Eastern Europe, and especially we in Poland, do not have an easy time sorting out the varieties of liberalism that are being proposed to us. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pope and the Liberal State

It is not hard to understand why when Centesimus Annus was issued in 1991, its economic teachings almost immediately received the most attention. For with respect both to substance and emphasis, Centesimus does represent a considerable development in papal social thought on . . . . Continue Reading »

Hauerwas Examined

Stanley Hauerwas once told me that After Christendom? might be the systematic assembly of his thought for which friends and opponents have pressed him. In considerable part, the promise is fulfilled. The chapters of this book were drafted for a single set of lectures and work together in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Character and Poverty

Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age, published in 1984, examined the debate on poverty in British thought from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations of 1776 through the mid-nineteenth century. The book was remarkable for its scope. It followed . . . . Continue Reading »

The University in Moral Shambles

The good news is that more people are paying attention to the bad news. In the past year there has been an encouragingly widespread discussion of the role played by Politically Correct (PC) opinion on American campuses. Sundry “speech codes” aimed at limiting free expression and adopted in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pop Goes the Culture

We made a mistake in a recent public symposium by saying, in response to a question, that we had not listened to enough rock music to have an intelligent opinion about it. A journalist reporting on the meeting cited this as evidence certain that this writer is entirely out of touch with the culture . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles