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

The Enemies, and Friends, of the Humanities

A funny thing happened when Michael Novak brought Herbert Marcuse to lecture to his students. It was the early-1970s when campus rebellion had entered its darker phase, and Marcuse was an idol of the Movement. His theory of “repressive tolerance” served as an essential touchstone for protest, and his volatile mix of Marx and Freud seemed an edgy, relevant style of intellectualized activism. Continue Reading »

Tradition and the Individual Theologian

Catholics, Orthodox, and not a few Protestants have been known to reject theological novelties with a wave of the hand and an appeal to tradition. “Shouldn’t we follow the tradition rather than the judgments of an individual scholar?” Sometimes the modifier “idiosyncratic” is added to “judgments” for rhetorical oomph. “Tradition” is implicitly capitalized, for who can argue with a capital letter? Continue Reading »

Tradition and Creativity in Theology

The ideas of “tradition” and “creativity” seem at first glance to be opposed and incompatible. Tradition says continuity; creativity says innovation and hence discontinuity. With the proper distinctions, however, it may be possible to show that the two are not only compatible but mutually . . . . Continue Reading »

Trinitarian Morality?

The traditions Gregory Jones explores in Transformed Judgment are grand ones: Aristotelian virtue-centered moral philosophy; Thomism, especially as it elucidates the relation between the sacraments and friendship with God; Trinitarian thought; Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language. One . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles