December 20, 2013

Commonweal, December 20, 2013
Date: 
Friday, December 20, 2013
Volume: 
140
Number: 
20

Making the Past Present

As with many of Auden’s longer poems, 'For the Time Being' is a slippery beast. Whenever you think you’ve got a hold of it, it goes off in another direction.

Sending the Wrong Signal

Many of us have adapted to our consumer culture—a culture in which affluence is morally innocent or even commendable. “More” is taken to be a universal aspiration.

Health Scare

While the next few months could be rocky, there are still reasons to be optimistic about the ACA. To understand why, it helps to know a few details about the law.

Journet’s Blind Spot

Just before the Second Vatican Council, Journet was among the most prominent intellectuals in the church.

Heard on High

Did Wallace Stevens convert to Roman Catholicism as he lay dying in the summer of 1955? This question has provoked more controversy than one might expect.

All At Sea

'Captain Phillips' is thoughtful and electrifyingly exciting; 'All Is Lost' is Sisyphean hopelessness but also a Sisyphean defiance.

Letters | How to Reform Public Education

Readers write on Ravitch review, with a response from Jackson Lear.

‘I Do’ Undone

One always has to consider the cultural background of a vow. A vow made in our culture today means something different from one made in our culture fifty years ago.

System Failure

As a signature policy issue, President Barack Obama’s national health-care program is right up there with Bush’s Iraq.

Painting in Slang

A vigorous and superbly contextual show, “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis”—at the Philadelphia Museum of Art—focuses on the artist's most experimental years.

Once Upon a Time

Christianity can be described primarily as intellectual and dogmatic only if one sets aside lots of evidence. That’s precisely what Geza Vermes does in this book.

Poem | At The End

of a late August evening / comes a light through maples / and over orange marigolds / a light that eddies over fallen apples