Do You Believe What You Sing?

Why Catholics Can’t Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste by thomas day crossroad, 177 pages, $19.95 In a moment of exasperation, the novelist Flannery O'Connor wrote to a friend that the motto of the Catholic Church could be: We Guarantee to Corrupt Nothing But Your . . . . Continue Reading »

The Vatican and the State of Israel

In a recently published book, Sergio I. Minerbi, formerly of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks of the Catholic Church as “the chief opponent” of the Zionist movement past and present, and he identifies “the real reasons underlying” this “hostility” as “immutable . . . . Continue Reading »

When Church-State Conflicts Aren't

Here is a review in a national publication of a book about religion in American public life. The title of the review is “Church-State Conflict Revived.” But that is not what the book is about, as the review itself makes quite clear. The book is about, inter alia, the perduring force of religion . . . . Continue Reading »

Judaism and American Public Life: A Symposium

In the half-century now past, the dominant view among American Jews was that religion should be rigorously separated from public life. The more thoroughly secular the society, many thought, the safer it is for Jews. Those who, like Will Herberg, dissented from that view were in a very small . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Rome and Runnymede

Curious. Why should the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe all see fit to carry the story of the promulgation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the papal declaration on the mission of Catholic universities? On the face of it, Vatican norms for . . . . Continue Reading »

Conflict of Canons

In his 1989 novel The Storyteller, Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian novelist and erstwhile presidential candidate, describes the Machiguenga, a scattered and wandering Amazonian tribe, the various clans of which are unified by the activities of the mysterious “hablador,”or “talker.” . . . . Continue Reading »

History According to the Village Atheist

The Arrogance of Faith: Christianity and Race in America from the Colonial Era to the Twentieth Century by forrest g. wood alfred a. knopf 517 pages, $29.95 I remember one of those 2:00 A.M. college bull sessions that gave a much younger me the beginnings of an education. On that night, we were . . . . Continue Reading »