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

Bottum: Christmas Reruns

The first of our Christmas Reruns ¯writings on the season from our authors through the years.It’s hardly worth the effort to point out how difficult good sestinas are to write. The poet Dana Gioia has a cruel, funny sestina about how all poetry students, assigned to write one, choose to . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacramone: Review of Babel

In the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, the hubris of technological man, seeking to realize the full potential of his monolithic, monolingual power, is crushed by the sovereignty of monotheism’s one true God. And so the spell of a common language is broken, nations are formed and . . . . Continue Reading »

Miller: Martino and High Stone Walls

Vatican City, as most people know, is a sovereign state, albeit a very small one entirely within Italian territory in the city of Rome. Most visitors to this tiny country enter it by stepping from the Via della Conciliazione, which is in Italy, into St. Peter’s Square, which is in Vatican . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN: The Pope in Turkey

There are so many pieces to Pope Benedict’s visit to Turkey this week that one hardly knows where to begin. In almost all the media coverage, it was quite forgotten that this was, first of all, a pastoral and ecumenical visit. There is a very small Catholic community in Turkey that is as . . . . Continue Reading »

Reno: Modern Art Revisited

Two recent trips to two very different art exhibits provoked some gloomy thoughts about our times. Earlier in the fall, I visited New York City. An art-curator friend who has tried to warm me to contemporary art suggested a visit to the Leslie Tonkonow Gallery in Chelsea. Klaus Ottmann, a curator . . . . Continue Reading »

Miller: The Pope and World Hunger

Speaking about the many people in the world who go hungry, Pope Benedict XVI says that we need "to eliminate the structural causes linked to the system of government of the world economy, which allocates the greater part of the planet’s resources to a minority of the population." . . . . Continue Reading »

Smith: Saints and Singers

Like Fr. Neuhaus , I too was taken with the article "I’m Not a Saint, Just a Parent" by Simon Barnes in the Times of London. It recalled to my mind a speech I gave several years ago to a medical school in which I urged the students to always look at their patients through the lens . . . . Continue Reading »

Hylden: Schori’s Agenda

No one thought it possible, but there is a wave of nostalgia sweeping through the ranks of conservative Episcopalians for their old presiding bishop, Frank Griswold. Of course, he may well have been heretical, but no one could really tell for sure. His statements were a riddle wrapped in a mystery . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN: On Love & Madness

Here, with thanks to Amy Welborn, a reflection to lift the heart and confirm the will . The author, Simon Barnes, is chief sportswriter for the (UK) Times : "So Eddie was born, and I have spent the subsequent five years living with him. Not living with Down’s syndrome: what a ridiculous . . . . Continue Reading »



Filter Web Exclusive Articles