Egypt retaliated against the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians, striking Isis targets in Libya.

The Atlantic traces the Islamic State's intellectual geneology to understand their actual motivations.

We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic. . . . We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature.

There were many fitting tributes to David Carr after his death this week. Jelani Cobb has a moving piece in this week's New Yorker

Carr, who died last night at the age of fifty-eight, was a journalist from the ink-and-paper era who found a foothold in the digital environment. . . . . Yet he never stopped being a newsman in the old mold: he didn’t develop a brand; he built a reputation.

In light of The Partisan Review's new online presence, Mark Greif (a co-founder of n+1) reflects on today's "public intellectual" discourse. It appears it's not the intellectual part that's the problem, but "something has gone wrong in our collective idea of the 'public.'" 

Speaking of intellectuals in the public square, Jeet Heer reviews the new biography of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus at the Globe and Mail, and finds it a rewarding profile of a complex life. The review mentions Neuhaus's stance on Romero, which is particularly timely now that the Vatican is removing blocks to his beatification. 

From the start, Neuhaus was a politically ambitious padre, a holy hustler, a man of God who always had a keen eye for self-promotion. . . . Amid the turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s, Neuhaus flirted with the rhetoric of revolution. But after the end of the Vietnam War, he started to move sharply to the right, developing a special hatred for the “liberation theology” preached by Romero and other Latin American Catholics.


Maria Bowler is the former assistant digital editor of Commonweal. 

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