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Early-Morning Musings
on the Sacred

Recently, I met a Wall Street trader. He was in his late thirties, perhaps his early forties. I was impressed by his active intelligence. We spoke of the current political situation and its odd combination of hysteria and complacency. Everybody seems to feel oppressed in some way. Many worry that . . . . Continue Reading »

Late-Night Musings on Nationalism

Pondering the endless glut of books on the virtues of nationalism and the failures of political liberalism, I sat up late the other night, reading around (yet again) in Augustine’s City of God before dozing off in my chair. Waking suddenly—or, at least, half-awake—my mind was . . . . Continue Reading »

Prurient History

Sex sells, all the more if one throws in Vatican secrets and conspiracy. Long before Frédéric Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican, the Church had problems with sexual indiscretions, not least in the era of Pope Pius IX (1846–1878). Hubert Wolf, the self-appointed dean of German church . . . . Continue Reading »

Secular Monks

Jack Dorsey, cofounder and CEO of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, wakes up at 5 a.m. After drinking a juice made from Himalayan sea salt, water, and lemon, he takes an ice bath. He meditates for one hour each morning and one hour each evening. On weekends, he eats nothing and drinks only . . . . Continue Reading »

For and Against Integralism

Modernity does not just refer to the time in which we happen to live, the era that follows the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Those who first recognized themselves as modern defined themselves self-consciously over against the ages that preceded them, though few probably grasped in its fullness . . . . Continue Reading »

Limits of Religious Freedom

In the face of determined assaults on religion, conservative activists and intellectuals have offered increasingly strident defenses of religious freedom. This “first freedom” is presented as an inviolable principle, an absolute “right to be wrong.” Such rhetoric oversells religious freedom . . . . Continue Reading »

Prayer, Distraction, and
Daily Life

Let’s begin by reviewing some fundamentals of Jewish prayer. The mandatory prayers are offered three times daily. This commandment may be fulfilled in private. However, significant elements of the standard prayers have a public character. These are primarily the recitations of outcry or praise . . . . Continue Reading »

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