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Christian Nation, Yes and No

From G. K. Chesterton to Sidney Mead to Robert ­Bellah and beyond, observers have noted that America is a “nation with the soul of a church.” No one, however, has yet attempted to assess the latest manifestation of this fusion of Christianity and nationalism. Taking America Back for . . . . Continue Reading »

The Old Man in the Nursery School

Nathan Alterman (1910–1970) was the most important Hebrew poet of his generation. He was popular with readers of poetry and continues to be much-studied. Side by side with the major modernist works that established his reputation, Alterman was also a prolific producer of occasional verse on . . . . Continue Reading »

Spiritual Communion

During the Diocletian persecution, a group of North African Christians were brought to trial in Carthage for meeting illegally for worship. When asked why they had persisted in this practice, one replied, “Sine Dominico, non possumus”: “Without this thing of the Lord, we cannot live.” Over . . . . Continue Reading »

Protestants in Rome

Protestants are drawn to Rome, though we define ourselves against it. Strictly speaking, we do not go there on pilgrimage. Yet we have always visited Rome, at once attracted and repulsed. It began in 1510, when Martin Luther took the trip that triggered the Reformation. “Rome, once the holiest . . . . Continue Reading »

The Final Enemy

Human mortality has always fascinated the greatest ­creative minds—from Homer declaiming on the slayings of Patroclus and Hector, to Sigmund Freud speculating on death drives. Roger Scruton even locates the significance of artistic endeavor in the fact that we understand our existence to be . . . . Continue Reading »

Phobos and Deimos

At the beginning of book VII of Virgil’s Aeneid, auspicious winds send the ships of the Trojan hero and his warriors to the mouth of the Tiber, where they put ashore. An oracle has foretold their coming. Aeneas is welcomed by the king of the Latins, and an alliance is forged. The king’s . . . . Continue Reading »

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