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My Excommunication

In 1992, a group of dissident bishops of the American Episcopal Church held a meeting after that denomination’s triennial general convention—the notorious convention whose delegates had failed to agree upon a resolution calling for bishops and priests to be sexually continent outside of . . . . Continue Reading »

Forged in Fire

Among secularists, Christianity is associated with intolerance, largely because its attitudes toward sex do not square with the progressive status quo. But Christianity’s reputation for intolerance can be traced back to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, and to public intellectuals such . . . . Continue Reading »

Catholic Ironies

In The Irony of Modern Catholic History, George Weigel offers a comprehensive interpretation of the history of the Catholic Church’s encounter with modernity. For Weigel, the fixed point in this story is the goodness of the aspirations of “political modernity,” by which he generally means . . . . Continue Reading »

The Original Nation

No one views Israel with indifference. As an old joke puts it, a philo-Semite is just an anti-Semite who likes Jews. Bari Weiss quotes this joke (to disparage Donald Trump) without grasping its deeper meaning. Anti-Semitism and philo-Semitism respond to the same thing, namely, God’s promise to the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Paper Church

John Henry Newman joined the Catholic Church on October 9, 1845, after concluding that the via media of Anglo-Catholicism, which he had sought for years to vindicate, existed only in theory, a dream of dons. He had constructed a “paper religion”; his notion of the Church of England . . . . Continue Reading »

Does Natural Law Need Theology?

Until quite recently, natural law thinking had been a Catholic preserve. My interest in it was awakened during my days as a Jewish undergraduate at the University of Chicago, by the great Leo Strauss—himself a serious, though nonobservant, Jew. When I told Strauss of my interest in natural . . . . Continue Reading »

Hannah Arendt and Judaism

On the American “Jewish street” of the mid-1960s, you did not need to have read her work to have an opinion about Hannah Arendt. The German Jewish émigré to the United States had written a famous book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, which showed that anti-Semitism was at the core of the . . . . Continue Reading »

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