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Jewish Survival in a Gentile World

There are only two possible strategies for Jewish survival in a gentile world. One is to be tolerated. The other is to be indispensable. The first strategy hopes that if every minority is tolerated, then perhaps even the Jews, the minority with the longest history of persecution, might also be . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion: Hamlet, Machiavelli, Obama

Do read Alan Jacobs on Obama at Notre Dame. Because the clump-of-cells argument is so crude and ‘final’, Obama, putting himself at the front of a long train, seeks refuge in bad postmodernity. Rather than overdetermining the abortion question as a question of science — and this, . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith & Finance

Swings in the business cycle are as psychological as they are economic. The Economist put the matter in sharp relief: “Much in modern economics is taken on trust. Even the most basic goods depend on complex links between suppliers strewn across the globe. The glue that binds the whole system . . . . Continue Reading »

Christianity, Modernity, and America

The latest issue of Modern Age (Winter 2009) is now available for general consumption and features a symposium on Remi Brague’s amazingly erudite book The Law of God . Besides a very fine lead contribution from Mark Shiffman (who blogs over at Front Porch Republic ) you’ll also find short . . . . Continue Reading »

Love’s Limits Lost?

One thing that’s always unfashionable is pessimism about the Power of Love. I touched a bit on love yesterday, and I see today that Daniel did the same a few days before that — in the context of another go against our love-projecting cosmopolitans. Where the cosmops would seek, . . . . Continue Reading »

Spirits of Rhetoric

The Immanent Frame, an academic blog launched on the release of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age , is still going strong. They’ve started a new discussion series , replete with invited scholars, centered around Obama’s traditionalistic inaugural claim that the “values upon . . . . Continue Reading »

A Darwinian Telos. What Faith!

Andrew has a fairly careful and modest essay at the Times on the progress of religious faith in the face of scientific progress. The issue of whether faith should gird us to not fear scientific truth is an intriguing one; the Holocaust was scientifically true, after all, meaning the facts could not . . . . Continue Reading »

American Rapture

There are two models of rapture — one super-worldly, one this-worldly, one in which we are abducted, from here to eternity, and one in which we are inducted, to infinity and beyond. The first model is depressing if it’s the only opportunity we have to experience eternity. Even the . . . . Continue Reading »

Confessions of a Coward

Early in April, with the publication of the May issue of First Things, I stepped out from behind the pseudonym Spengler to begin arguing my more considered ideas under my own name. The experience has been an interesting one: constricting in some ways and yet freeing in others. My Spengler columns actually began as a joke. In 1997 the Asia Times asked me to write a humor column, and the name Spengler seemed a funny touch: the author of The Decline of the West as a comic writer for an Asian daily. The print edition of the newspaper soon went under, but I revived the persona for the online-only edition in 1999. Contrary to my expectations, it won an audience and became a vehicle for more than I had originally imagined it would be. Continue Reading »

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