The Priest Who Stood Up to Mafia

On May 25, a mere twenty years after his murder, the Italian Catholic priest Don Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi will be beatified. A figure much beloved in Sicily, Puglisi will be the first victim of the mafia to be declared a blessed by the Catholic Church… . Continue Reading »

Enduring Graduations

Oh, the things we endure for the sake of familial love: a snoring spouse, the clutter of children, an opinionated sister-in-law, and graduation ceremonies. Graduation exercises are a lot of things, but mostly they are boring. I challenge anyone who has ever been to a graduation to say otherwise… . Continue Reading »

Debating Desire

Emily Witt’s report on her experience of the San Francisco BDSM scene in the latest issue of n+1 provokes not only for its graphic descriptions, but also for the questions it raises about life’s meaning. The piece contrasts that radical environment with Witt’s more conventional desires … Continue Reading »

U.S. Catholics: Overly Assimilated?

With his new book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America, mild-mannered Russell Shaw has become the bull in the china shop of U.S. Catholic history, knocking heroes off pedestals and overturning conventional story-lines”all in aid of trying to understand why the Church in America is in a precarious position today … Continue Reading »

Henry Hope Reed, Defender of Decoration

The distinguished architectural historian Henry Hope Reed died May 1 at age ninety-seven. More than any cultural figure of his generation, Reed perpetuated an awareness of the classical tradition’s enduring role as the indispensable means for improving the human habitat … Continue Reading »

If Women Ran the World

Writing for The Atlantic in September of 2012, Hanna Rosin argued that the “hookup culture” so prevalent on college campuses and in the lives of young adults is “an engine of female progress”one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.” She wrote: “To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture” … Continue Reading »

Jewish Concerns about History Channel’s The Bible

The popularity of the History Channel’s The Bible shows that Americans still yearn for inspiration from the Greatest Story Ever Told. For all of its positive power, however, The Bible may inadvertently perpetuate negative images of Jews and Judaism. For centuries, dramatic presentations of the biblical narrative were bad news for Jews… . Continue Reading »

Salvation by Technique

From the French Revolution onward we’ve entertained dreams of a single, profound, and decisive moment that will transform society, or even human nature itself. Marxism provides an obvious example, as does Hitler’s National Socialism and its promise of a New Man. But there are others as well… . Continue Reading »

Angelina Jolie’s Choice, and Ours

Angelina Jolie has gone public with her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy at age thirty-seven. She lost her mother young to cancer, and her doctors urged her to remove her breasts after she underwent testing that placed her in a high-risk category for future cancer… . Continue Reading »