Academic Freedom

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Out of Their League

Frank Bruni challenges elitist assumptions about what "counts" as a worthy education, and Fareed Zakaria defends the usefulness and versatility of the liberal arts.

The Barefoot Lawyer

Chen Guangcheng's condemnation of the Chinese state is told through his story of legal activism, resulting torture, trial, house arrest, and an escape to the U.S.

'James Merrill: Life and Art'

Langdon Hammer's biography of poet and writer James Merrill is "wholly definitive" in scope, and threaded throughout with Merrill’s brilliant, always enlivening wit.

The Age of the Crisis of Man

Many modern American thinkers have asked, often and with anxiety, "What is man?" In his latest book, Mark Greif thinks we've outgrown this—and it's a good thing.

Why the Romantics Matter

In his final book, the late Peter Gay expands familiar notion of the Romantic rebellion against Enlightenment rationality, to the focus on artistic self-expression.

Letters | Francis & sexual abuse; sober history; knowing Jesus

Readers "angered at the tortured logic of the editors" respond to the removal of Bishop Finn, Francis's failures, the value of "big history," and how to know Jesus.

Old News: The World Is Not Christian

Unlike past Eurocentric taxonomies of world religions, the latest Norton anthology aims to let six major, living, international religions speak...in their own words.

The Republic of Imagination

Iranian author Azar Nafiri defends the value of canonical American literature—its imagination and humanity—against Common Core, market analyses, and Babbitt.

Letters | Theists vs. Atheists

Readers continue to discuss the “kinder, gentler atheism” (or perhaps agnosticism) espoused by Michael Ruse in his book 'Atheism.'

Blackballed

Pinckney's short history deals with basic things—Reconstruction, Ku Klux Klan terrorism, crude political machinations like Plessy v Ferguson—white people can forget.

Life After Faith

Is humanity better or worse off believing in the sacred? Kitcher has not provided new reasons for declaring the death of God, but he certainly makes it seem foolish.
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