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Kraków's Geography of Sanctity

In a recent book, The Geo­graphy of Genius, Eric Weiner sets out on what he calls “a search for the world’s most creative places, from ancient Athens to Silicon Valley.” Change the term “most creative places” to “places that embody a civilization-building accomplishment,” or “places . . . . Continue Reading »

The War According to Isaac Babel

Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry, now granted an afterlife in Boris Dralyuk’s lyrical and fluid translation, consists of thirty-five episodic stories about the Soviet First Cavalry Army.

European Reconciliation

Currently, visitors to the Vatican Museums in Rome have the opportunity to visit an exhibition devoted to Cardinal Bolesław Kominek (1903-1974), aptly titled “Europe’s Forgotten Founding Father.” The author of the “Pastoral Letter of the Polish Bishops to Their German Brothers,” sent . . . . Continue Reading »

Lessons in Statecraft

When the Catholic Church celebrated the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on April 27, 2014, the Church was not “making saints,” and neither was Pope Francis. Rather, the Church and the pope were recognizing two saints that God had made, publicly declaring its conviction . . . . Continue Reading »

The Statute of Kalisz’s Great Legacy

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Christian rulers across Europe east and west persecuted and expelled Jews. While the papacy had denounced blood libel rumors, Christians from England to Crimea abused their Jewish neighbors, sometimes blaming them for the Black Death. In 1215, the Catholic Church decreed in the Fourth Lateran Council that Jews were to wear special clothing distinguishing them from Gentiles, and were to be segregated in ghettoes. In 1492, Queen Isabella the Catholic of Castile expelled the Jews from Spain. Seven hundred and fifty years ago today, the duke of Greater Poland, Boleslaw the Pious, issued one of the great exceptions to this pattern of persecution: the Statute of Kalisz. Continue Reading »

The Solidarity Difference

Thirty years ago, on Aug. 31, 1980, an electrician named Lech Walesa signed the Gdansk Accords, ending a two-week-old strike at that Hanseatic city’s Lenin Shipyards. Walesa signed with a giant souvenir pen featuring a portrait of Pope John Paul II… . Continue Reading »

Poland: Reflections on a New World

For a national capital, Warsaw is very new and, finally, unconvincing as a city. After World War II, it was rebuilt from almost total rubble. Apart from the reconstructed Old Town, it is with some exceptions an exhibition of ugliness. The Communists, it seems, were at war with all three . . . . Continue Reading »

Reviving the Missionary Mandate

The editorial in our May 1991 issue was titled “Christian Mission and the Third Millennium.” It described the complicated connections between the Christian missionary enterprise and the future of an essentially Western civilization that is, in however ambiguous a manner, a product of the . . . . Continue Reading »

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