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America and Liberalism

The American experiment.” I cringed whenever Richard John Neuhaus used that formulation. We live in a country, not an experiment. I seek to purify my soul so that I may be worthy of citizenship in the City of God. But in this temporal frame, I have never wanted to be anything other than an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Ignoble Lie

During one of the more infamous moments in Plato’s Republic, Socrates suggests that the ideal city needs a founding myth—what he calls “a noble lie”—to ensure its success. The myth has two parts. The first relates that every person in the city comes from the same mother, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Donald Trump, Principe

Last year, Christian conservatives had serious reservations about Donald Trump. I was among them. But many of us voted for him anyway. For most, the calculation was straightforward. The end—protecting ourselves, our children, and our country from an increasingly hostile . . . . Continue Reading »

Vulgar Deconstruction

Back in the 1970s, when the humanities still set the intellectual tone for the college campus, it was common for advanced scholars to divide the personnel in two: There were those who understood High Theory and those who didn’t. New ideas and methods were in the air. Leading-edge journals and . . . . Continue Reading »

Whatever Happened to Sacral Kingship?

In an average college course, the history of Western political theory typically follows a simple plot: A flowering of secular, republican rationality in Ancient Athens and Republican Rome foundered on a combination of Imperial overstretch and civil war.

Two Theories of Immigration

Today there are twenty million refugees who have crossed international borders to escape violence and abject poverty. Forty million more have been displaced within their own countries. In 2015, half a million refugees have poured into Europe, with thousands dying at sea or in cramped smugglers’ . . . . Continue Reading »

In Favor of Muddling Through

In American political rhetoric–stump speeches, newspaper editorials, party propaganda–the terms “left wing” and “right wing” are used as epithets. They are terms of opprobrium. We employ them on our opponents, hoping to persuade voters to turn away from such dangerous ideologues. When . . . . Continue Reading »

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