BookEssay

'Welcome to the Orthodox Church'

Mathewes-Green, a convert from the Episcopal tradition, focuses on Orthodoxy as a path to God and uses the actions and prayers of the liturgy as a basis for theology

'The God of Walkers'

Bruce Chatwin casts travel as an act of sacrifice, of “sloughing-off” the world and discovering the self anew. His work contains moments of aching spirituality.

'Anti-Education'

Editors Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon contend that Nietzsche’s impassioned critique of 19th century education sheds light on the decline of education in the 21st.

The Luftwaffe Over Liverpool

The air raids of May 1941 stand out in the memory because they were so ferocious. The norm—insofar as there was a norm—fell into a more predictable quasi-routine.

The River Runs On

Norman Maclean understood loving and losing in the light of Christian faith. But he couldn’t quite trust Christianity’s promise of redemption. Tragedy was his theme.

Top Books of 2015

Out of the more than eighty book reviews Commonweal published in 2015, these twelve were the most read, discussed, and shared on social media.

A Shattered Mosaic

Considering how religiously diverse and culturally cosmopolitan its cities were before WWI, few could have foreseen today's calamity for the Middle Eastern region.

'Once in a Great City'

What fascinates Maraniss about Detroit more than its ruin is how central its story is to the broader course of U.S. history—Motown, the local Mob, the auto industry.

'Utopia, Limited'

Anahid Nersessian argues that Romanticism dramatizes the “desirability of constraint.” Her book on how British Romantics imagined "utopia" powerfully does the same.

Bookmarks | Poetry, Poets & Sacredness

James Booth examines Philip Larkin’s life and work. Colm Tóibín writes on Elizabeth Bishop. James Wood looks at religious and secular modes of narration in novels.

Awakening

As a result of a recent vogue for feeling culturally embattled, the word “Christian” now is seen less as identifying an ethic, and more as identifying a demographic.
Jacques Maritain

Christian Human Rights

In "Christian Human Rights," Samuel Moyn concedes that the modern human-rights movement is untethered from its Christian origins. Is this something to worry about?
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