The Ghost of Christmas Past

It’s almost impossible not to know how it opens. “Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.” Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been filmed at least forty-two times and dramatized for the stage in dozens of versions¯the first almost . . . . Continue Reading »

Christmas in New York

There was a woman screaming on Park Avenue, flecks of saliva spraying from her mouth as she raged into her cell phone, “It’s not my fault.” Over and over, like the high-pitched squeal of a power saw cutting bricks: It’s not my fault and a run of foul names, It’s not my fault . . . . Continue Reading »

Anglican, or Episcopalian?

“Are you Anglican, or Episcopalian?” As an Episcopalian interloper studying at a Methodist seminary, I get the question a lot from my puzzled friends. Each time I’m asked, part of me wants to launch into a mini-primer on Anglican ecclesiology¯to wit, that Episcopalians are . . . . Continue Reading »

Science and Religion

According to the conventional narrative, science and religion have been at war for some three hundred years. But the reality is deeper and more complex. The English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead wrote in his Science and the Modern World (1925) that without devotion to the God of Israel, modern . . . . Continue Reading »

Support First Things

Dear First Things Reader,“God loves a cheerful giver,” St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Over almost twenty years, the readers of First Things have demonstrated that they are generous givers, and I would like to think that you are cheerful givers as well.To be sure, this year is not like . . . . Continue Reading »

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Avery Cardinal Dulles was one of the greatest thinkers in the modern Roman Catholic church and perhaps its most distinguished representative in the United States. The first American to be named a cardinal soley for his theological work, and for his last two decades a professor at Fordham University, . . . . Continue Reading »

The “American” Religion

The great contest is over the culture, the guiding ideas and habits of mind and heart that inform the way we understand the world and our place in it. Christians who, knowingly or unknowingly, embrace the model of “Christ without culture”—meaning Christianity in indifference to culture—are . . . . Continue Reading »

Avery Cardinal Dulles, 1918—2008

Word has reached us that Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., died here in New York early this morning. Created cardinal for his theological work by John Paul II, Avery Dulles was one of the great figures of the twentieth century: a theologian, an intellectual, a teacher, a writer, a lecturer, and a kind . . . . Continue Reading »

Conservatism and the Culture Wars

Politics is an arena of conflict. I want a certain set of policies and laws. You want something different. We fight it out in public debate and in the electoral process. Welcome to the rough-and-tumble world of sound bites, negative advertising, and hardball tactics.It’s wrong to wring our . . . . Continue Reading »