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Pelagius the Progressive

The year 2018 marked the sixteen-hundredth anniversary of the excommunication of one of Christianity’s most famous heretics: the fifth-century monk Pelagius, who gave his name to “Pelagianism,” the set of beliefs that denies the doctrine of original sin and the need for grace in order to live . . . . Continue Reading »

Fear Today

More than any other philosopher, Thomas Hobbes highlighted the claim that fear serves as a foundation for establishing the authority of the sovereign ruler. But fear has served not only the cause of political authority. Fear has always played a central role in the evolution of morality and in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Portals of the Past

When the Sight & Sound poll—the oldest and most prestigious film ranking—declared in 2012 that Vertigo was the greatest film ever made, Armond White denounced the film’s admirers for their “obsessive interest in pathology and soullessness.” James Wolcott dismissed the . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »

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