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Becket and His Critics

The late philosopher Roger Scruton once told a ­Guardian journalist that he thought he had been “too soft” over the course of his life. The interviewer was taken aback: Scruton was known as a scourge of political correctness and academic fashion. But as Scruton explained: “I’ve tended . . . . Continue Reading »

Resist in Truth

In 1951, security forces in communist Czechoslovakia arrested ­Silvester Krčméry—and as they were taking him away, he burst out laughing. The young physician knew what he was about to face: years behind bars, shattering ­physical and mental torture, the loss of his professional career. Yet . . . . Continue Reading »

American Pilgrimage

We began just after daybreak. One by one, the brigades filed out of the parking lot, each singing a different hymn. Turning away from the water, the lengthening line of pilgrims snaked up the hill toward a colossal statue of St. Isaac Jogues. This St. Isaac was not the bashful youth of prayer cards. . . . . Continue Reading »

God's Garbage People

As the sun comes up, the men go out from Garbage City and into the streets of ­Cairo. Some walk alone, carrying empty plastic sacks over their shoulders. Some drive trucks whose bare beds will soon be piled high with waste. Others are already returning with the trash they collected overnight. They . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptism of Blood

It is a scrupulously made short film, shot with several ­cameras in 2015. Arabic letters dance atop a black background, as if afloat on a whirling current of water, finally coming together and forming a droplet of closely intertwined characters. In Arabic calligraphy—one of Islam’s most . . . . Continue Reading »

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