Job’s Children

In S. Y. Agnon’s 1939 novel A Guest for the Night, one of the protagonists, Daniel Bach, recounts his loss of faith. Throughout World War I, as a soldier in the trenches, he had been meticulous about donning his tefillin to recite his daily prayers. Until one morning, the tefillin . . . . Continue Reading »

Fenton Returns

The Church of Christ:  A Collection of Essays by Monsignor Joseph C. Fenton by joseph clifford fenton edited with an introduction by christian d. washburn cluny, 362 pages, $25.95 Laying the Foundation:  A Handbook of Catholic Apologetics and Fundamental Theology by joseph clifford fenton . . . . Continue Reading »

Believe, That You May Understand

In 1970, Michael Polanyi wrote an essay called “Why Did We Destroy Europe?” In it, he reflected on the cancerous spread of ideologies and war in the twentieth century. He argued that scientific rationalism had initially “been a major influence towards intellectual, moral and social . . . . Continue Reading »

Jesus for Muslims

The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslimsby mustafa akyolst. martin’s, 288 pages, $26.99 On September 25, 2017, Mustafa Akyol was arrested by the Malaysian religious police. He had given two lectures in Kuala Lumpur, including a lecture in which he argued against . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Secular Theodicy

I live in Berkeley, one of the most religious cities in America. Its churches are being converted into mosques and Buddhist temples, but its one true faith endures. A popular yard sign states its creed: “In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No . . . . Continue Reading »

Döllinger’s Unquiet Grave

The Pope and the Professor:  Pius IX, Ignaz von Döllinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age by thomas howardoxford, 312 pages, $45 John Henry Newman aside, Ignaz von Döllinger (1799–1890) was the greatest Catholic theologian of the nineteenth century. He came of age amid a golden . . . . Continue Reading »