Soloveitchik the Zionist

Rabbi, if only I knew our suffering was paving the way for the Messiah,” cried a Jewish refugee to R. Hayyim Soloveitchik of Brest-Litovsk shortly before his death in World War I–era Warsaw. R. Hayyim rebuffed him, questioning whether it was self-evident that the advent of the Redeemer justified . . . . Continue Reading »

America and Liberalism

The American experiment.” I cringed whenever Richard John Neuhaus used that formulation. We live in a country, not an experiment. I seek to purify my soul so that I may be worthy of citizenship in the City of God. But in this temporal frame, I have never wanted to be anything other than an . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Lady of Everything

Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thoughtby rachel fulton browncolumbia, 656 pages, $75 In thirteenth-century France there lived a monk who served as confessor for many townspeople, including a beautiful married woman. Both the laywoman and her . . . . Continue Reading »

David as Politician

The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuelby moshe halbertal and stephen holmesprinceton, 232 pages, $27.95 Jews and Christians ought to be proud of having a Bible that contains pro-God and anti-God material. Not many religions can boast of sacred scriptures that provide support . . . . Continue Reading »

Oscar Romero, Martyr and Saint

The Scandal of Redemption: When God Liberates the Poor, Saves Sinners, and Heals Nationsby oscar romeroplough, 140 pages, $8 As the disciples were on their way to the Mount of Olives after the Last Supper, Jesus told them, “All of you will be scandalized because of me this night, for it . . . . Continue Reading »

Clarify Me, Please, God of the Galaxies

The English poet Elizabeth Jennings had the peculiar fate of being in the right place at the right time in the wrong way. Her career began splendidly. Her verse appeared in prominent journals, championed by Oxford’s new generation of tastemakers. Her first publication, Poems (1953), . . . . Continue Reading »

Evangelical Gnosticism

I teach in a great books program at an Evangelical university. Almost all students in the program are born-and-bred Christians of the nondenominational variety. A number of them have been both thoroughly churched and educated through Christian schools or homeschooling curricula. Yet an . . . . Continue Reading »

Heal Our Wounds

Six months after he was elected to the Chair of Peter, Pope Francis made one of the most provocative statements of his five-year pontificate. Asked by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Spadaro what the church (small c) most needs at this point in her history, he replied that he sees the church as a field . . . . Continue Reading »

Rights in Common

The dazzling efficiency with which corporate America exchanges its turkeys and pumpkins for snowmen and reindeer each year confirms that our society is fully post-Christian. The occasional earnest performance of “O Holy Night” is a rule-proving exception. For the most part, endless ranks of . . . . Continue Reading »