Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Age of Shakespeare and the Trial of Man

Unlike its English and American counterparts, Scottish law allows three verdicts in criminal trials: innocent, guilty, and not proven. Several years ago, amateur Shakespeareans convoked moot courts in this country to decide who wrote Shakespeare’s plays: Was it the man from Stratford, or was it . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare’s Millennium

Copyright (c) 1999 First Things 98 (December 1999): 17-24. When debate about an artist’s merit no longer seems to have any point, one is left either with an icon of culture, too sacred to enjoy, or with a target of satire, brought down to our more humdrum level by a vaudeville lampooning of the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Prince and the Pastor

Eugene Peterson has commented on the unhappy fact that modern pastors have become “spiritual technologists” who reduce pastoral care to “running the church” and problem-solving. “The secularized mind,” he writes, “is terrorized by mysteries.” Those in its grip “deny or ignore the . . . . Continue Reading »

Victims Unlimited

In this highly individualistic age, it is probably safe to assume about every victim what Tolstoy at the beginning of Anna Karenina assumes about every unhappy family: that each is unhappy in his or her own way. This could mean that to think about victimization now is to be overwhelmed with an . . . . Continue Reading »

Suffering Humanity

It is not hard to imagine the common sense reaction to the news that a distinguished historian had attempted to cover the history of human suffering in a little over two hundred pages. What have humans ever thought, done, or made that is not directly or indirectly involved with suffering in one or . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles