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The Gospel According to Kanye

If you don’t pay too much attention to pop culture, you may be forgiven for thinking that the story of the past fifty years in American entertainment goes something like this: Once upon a time, our arts were a verdant and unspoiled Eden. On TV, father knew best. On the radio, Gene Autry rested . . . . Continue Reading »

T Is for Timeless

Once a month, a robin’s-egg-blue box arrives at our house. “Mama! Mama! My books are here!” shouts my six-year-old daughter as she runs from the front door to the kitchen. We open the box to find personalized stickers, bookmarks, posters, and sometimes coloring pages or little paper games. The . . . . Continue Reading »

They Did It for the Kids

Operation Varsity Blues,” the 2019 college admissions scandal, returned to the news earlier this year when a Netflix documentary provided a fresh opportunity to decry abuses of privilege and the selfishness of parents seeking to boast of their children’s achievements. Comforting accounts, to be . . . . Continue Reading »

Jonestown University

In the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict, Bucknell University, the liberal arts school where I work, lost no time in issuing a statement. We were told that America remained a terrifying place for its black citizens, and that George Floyd’s death demonstrated “the fear and anger that Black . . . . Continue Reading »

Tech Pluralism

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are virtual public squares, allowing individuals to communicate their views to wide audiences. At first, these platforms avoided regulating user-created content. But pressure from politicians, activist corporations, and users . . . . Continue Reading »

Dramas of Decline and Fall

In 2013, Dana Gioia argued in these pages that “although Roman Catholicism constitutes the largest religious and cultural group in the United States, Catholicism currently enjoys almost no positive presence in the American fine arts.” I was reminded of that contention when it dawned on me that . . . . Continue Reading »

The Old Evangelization

As a historian who studies missionaries, I am sometimes asked by my fellow Catholics: How did the Church think about evangelization in the past compared to the present? Typically it is clear that they regard one age as wiser than the other. The more progressively inclined assume that . . . . Continue Reading »

Reading Lewis

The subtitle of this book characterizes it as a “guide” to The Abolition of Man. Potential readers might, therefore, ask themselves: What does Michael Ward mean in calling his book a “guide”? And why should a guide be needed for a book that (with rather large print) runs to only a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Necessity of Nationalism

Those involved in the debates over American nationalism will find Samuel Goldman’s skeptical intervention, After Nationalism: Being American in an Age of Division, a refreshing read. Free of histrionics, Goldman’s sober and succinct exercise in historically informed political theory . . . . Continue Reading »

Sexual Counter-Revolution

Planned Parenthood recently distributed flyers at ­Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, Washington. The flyers targeted eleven-­year-olds, informing them that they could have sex with anyone under the age of thirteen, and that their parents were not ­entitled to determine whether they took birth . . . . Continue Reading »

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