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The October issue is”such is the way magazines work”in the mail and now available online. It is a full, stimulating, informative, entertaining, and provocative issue, if we say so ourselves.

The issues opens with Joseph Bottum’s “ Holy War Over Ground Zero , and continues with three reports, including young and famous pro-life activist Lila Rose’s story of how she came to run undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood facilities, a reflection on l ife in Mississippi after Katrina , and the history of Catholic professor Kenneth Howell’s struggles with the University of Illinois.

The feature section begins with physicist Stephen M. Barr’s “ Fearful Symmetries ,” a meditation on sciences’ search for the elegant and elusive simplicity of the universe, and the scientific failure of reductionism. (You will have seen his Much Ado About “Nothing” , posted on “First Thoughts” last week.) The journalist Ron Rosenbaum then offers, in “ Rescuing Evil ,” his thoughts on the nature of evil, stimulated by his study of Hitler and the story of England’s “psycho-cabbie killer.”

Then, in “ Torah and Incarnation ,” Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik asks “How can finite man commune with the infinite God?” and then contrasts the Christian and the Jewish answers. McGill professor Reuven Brenner and our senior editor David P. Goldman add a dissection of “ The Keynes Conundrum ,” beginning with Keynes’ own observation that “the most practical man of business is usually the slave of a defunct economist.” The last feature is the statement of the first annual Neuhaus Colloquium, “ Human Embryos in the Age of Obama .”

The issue also includes reviews of George Weigel’s new book on Pope John Paul II, The End and the Beginning , Carl Braaten’s Because of Christ (this one by First Things ’ founding editor, James Neuchterlein), Hadley Arkes’ Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths , Christopher Page’s The Christian West and Its Singers (this by Robert Louis Wilken), and William Peter Blatty’s Dimiter .

And the issue includes, of course, thoughtful letters, the architecture column (which looks at the Air Force Academy’s chapel), the crossword, the “Sunday Best” photograph, poetry, and the short, sharp insights of “While We’re At It.”

[Note: The articles by Bottum, Duke, Rosenbaum, and the Neuhuas Colloquium are open to all. The rest are available only to href=””>print and digital subscribers.]

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