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That Which Goeth Into the Mouth

If you yourself are not obliged to observe Kosher, or if you simply elect not to (only a minority of Jews actually do), you must have wondered from time to time: What’s the point? You can eat meat after dairy products, but you cannot consume dairy after meat? (And mixed together—a . . . . Continue Reading »

Keeping the Faith

The more religiously committed parents are, the more they want their children to grow up believing and practicing the family’s religion. This is especially true of parents who are religiously traditionalist or conservative. The desire to pass on the faith to offspring in a world that does not seem . . . . Continue Reading »

Origen’s Ladder

No Christian writer of the early centuries elicited greater hostility among critics of the new religion than did Origen of Alexandria. He was born toward the end of the second century, at a time when Greek thinkers began to sense that Christians presented a formidable social and intellectual . . . . Continue Reading »

True Jewish Lit

The title of Adam Kirsch’s survey of twentieth-­century Jewish literature can be read in two ways. In historical terms, the Holocaust was the curse. The founding of Israel and the welcome Jews received in America were the blessings. But as a literary matter, the blessing and the curse were the . . . . 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 »

A Treatise on Two Cities

Tertullian’s question—“What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”—has generally been asked by Christians wondering to what extent they can draw on Greek wisdom. In answer, many theologians analogized Greek philosophy to Hebrew faith: Both were incomplete but preparatory. Clement of . . . . 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 »

The Greatest Christian Novel

When Dostoevsky wrote his last and greatest novel, The Brothers Karamazov, the ­revolutionary movement that would lead to Bolshevism was well ­underway. The terrorist organization People’s Will—one of the first such organizations in the world—performed daring assassinations and . . . . Continue Reading »

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