A Theory of Change to Believe In

If Republicans are engaged in a three-sided civil war, Democrats are having a civilized argument over who has the best theory about how progressive change happens.

Letter from Rome

The Vatican announces world tour for holy corpses; Relics arrive in Rome escorted by paramilitary police; Francis calls religious to "pray more" to raise vocations.

Among the Caucus-Goers

Imaginary American flags, ballots on sticky notes, turkey dressing sandwiches, and beer: Two Iowa caucus-goers with their first-hand accounts of democracy in action.

Choose Your Illusion

To judge by the pilot, the TV version of "The Magicians" will be a fast-paced and workmanlike distillation of Lev Grossman’s enthralling and often moving trilogy.

'The Revelatory Body'

Luke Timothy Johnson provides an important alternative to the “theologies of the body” on offer among those thinkers elaborating themes fashioned by John Paul II.

'Pure Act'

It is the purpose Michael N. McGregor’s biography of Robert Lax to move him out from under the shadow of Merton’s personality and give him his own place in the sun.

'Shakespeare and Abraham'

In Ken Jackson's reading, Abraham points to the possibility of offering a truly generous gift, a gift for which one would hope for nothing in return.

'Hope Without Optimism'

Terry Eagleton gives a witty and insightful tour of hope’s complicated linguistic terrain that carefully avoids proposing some once-and-for-all grand Theory of Hope.

Religion Booknotes 2016

Frederica Mathewes-Green on Eastern Orthodoxy; Brian E. Daley and Paul Kolbert on Psalm interpretations, Philip Jenkins on lost gospels; James O'Donnell on pagans


O’Donnell’s distinctive point is that “paganism” is entirely an invention of Christianity—a definition of the “other” that paralleled fourth-century Christianity.

'The Many Faces of Christ'

Philip Jenkins sets out to demolish a popular theological myth that the second-century apocryphal writings were unknown until recently; he makes a convincing case.

'Catholic Labor Movements in Europe'

Paul Misner's new book goes beyond social and labor movements in the church to deal with papal and episcopal action vis-à-vis the great powers between 1914 and 1965.