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

The Real History of Paganism

It is intriguing to ask exactly how and why a particular positive idea of paganism became embedded in skeptical and secular discourse—and embedded so deeply, in many cases, that there seems little chance of public education dispelling it. Continue Reading »

The Cross and the Machine

We must have been fifteen or sixteen when we discovered the church visitor’s book. It was an old church, maybe medieval, and I would pass it with my school friends on our way to the town center. I’m not sure what possessed us to go in; it might have been my idea. I’ve always loved old . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of Medieval Paganism

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. Most people who have explored the medieval architecture of Western Europe have heard a tour guide explain that a particular carving . . . . Continue Reading »

Witch Ways

In 1768, John Wesley expressed concern about the decline of popular belief in witchcraft and the supernatural: “The English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives’ fables. I am sorry for it. . . . They . . . . Continue Reading »

Pagan Piety

Pantheon: A New History of Roman Religion  by jörg rüpke  translated by david m. b. richardson  princeton, 576 pages, $39.95 In August of 410, for the first time in eight centuries, the city of Rome was sacked. While the fall of the ancient capital to an army of renegade Goths might . . . . Continue Reading »

The Anti-Christian Alt-Right

As you may know, many young conservatives have left Christianity,” the message begins. “Although I was raised Catholic, I too am leaving Catholicism, as I believe it is no longer a healthy religion.” The young man’s name is Dan, and he explains why he is apostatizing. “The Church has . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles