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Pixelated Souls

The great liberal thinkers who devised our constitutional order were responding to a seventeenth-century problem, most sharply diagnosed by Thomas Hobbes. The English, Hobbes said, were “seeing double”—divided, both personally and politically, by conflicting allegiances to Christ and King. . . . . Continue Reading »

Storming the Barricades

As the bicentennial of the United States Constitution was approaching in 1989, Michael Kammen published a book about its place in American culture—A Machine That Would Go of Itself. At the time, proud Americans passionately embraced their faith in the perfection of the country’s founding . . . . Continue Reading »

The Politics of Memory

In January 2020, the Socialist government of Spain, led by Pedro Sánchez, proposed a bill of profound cultural and political significance: a “Law of Historical and Democratic Memory.” If adopted, this law will bring to completion a twenty-year effort on the part of the Spanish left to limit . . . . Continue Reading »

Karl Barth

No theologian has exercised a greater influence on me than Karl Barth. I first encountered his work while I was a student at Haverford College. In those years, I was smitten with Carl Jung and Paul Tillich, who fed my growing interest in matters spiritual. But Barth did not traffic in the soft . . . . Continue Reading »

Therapeutic Revolution

One of the most remarkable features of our society is its blithe dismissal of tradition. Religious practices that have long shaped our social and political life are held in contempt. Time-tested convictions that guided generations before us are not just second-guessed but mocked and denounced. It is . . . . Continue Reading »

Law of Nations

Whatever international order there is today, it certainly is not beholden to political theology for its justification. Nevertheless, William Bain, a professor of international relations at the National University of Singapore, shows in this book that the idea of international order was justified in . . . . Continue Reading »

To Defend Freedom

Thomas Mann’s 1929 novella Mario and the Magician describes the performance of an ominous hypnotist at a seaside resort. The magician entertains his gullible audience by placing individuals in a trance before making them humiliate themselves by dancing ludicrously on stage. The setting . . . . Continue Reading »

Just Think What We’ll be Missing

When the Simpsons’ television was out of commission, singing together seemed like an excellent substitute—that is, until Lisa brought them up short by asking if the family knew any songs that weren’t commercials. For the past four years, Donald Trump has done for our social intercourse . . . . Continue Reading »

Man of the World

John Foster Dulles is a largely forgotten figure. Had he not served as U.S. secretary of state from 1953 to 1959, that largely would be entirely. Whatever interest his life retains stems from his tenure as the nation’s chief diplomat during the tense early years of the Cold War. . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

One of the most fascinating details of Mary Eberstadt’s “The Fury of the Fatherless” (December) is the observation that the BLM movement has a Marxist vision of the family: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families . . . . Continue Reading »

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