2008-05-09

Date: 
Friday, May 9, 2008

Modernity & Belief

In 1949, Karl Jaspers introduced the notion of an “axial age” to describe a few centuries around the middle of the first millennium B.C. when great spiritual...

Hitler's Doctor

Truth in reviewing requires I admit being not only a fan of historical fiction but a sometime practitioner. In that capacity, I joined an academic panel discussion...

Faith & the Hook-up Culture

Tom Wolfe wrote chillingly about the college “hook-up” culture of casual and crude sexual encounters a few years ago in his novel I Am Charlotte Simmons. Donna...

Confused Sympathies

Farce is the first cousin of melodrama. Both employ the same devices: people entering rooms at precisely the wrong moment and seeing what they should not see; the...

Something Else in Common

If you want people to read your book, it never hurts to start with a bold claim—like that made by Harvard colleagues Kevin Madigan (a Christian) and Jon Levenson (a...

An Omnivorous Talent

This third volume of John Richardson’s monumental biography of Pablo Picasso is divided into thirty-nine chapters plus an epilogue. This division seems natural...

Bush's war, women priests, saints

DEMOCRACY & FREEDOM Arguing against President George W. Bush, Commonweal’s editors (“Stop It,” March 28) claim wars should not be waged to spread democracy and...

The Right Questions

Predictably, spring brought the annual tussles about whether or not The Vagina Monologues ought to be performed at Catholic colleges and universities. I understand...

Two Cheers for John McCain

E. M. Forster once wrote the book Two Cheers for Democracy. In that same spirit I say, “Two cheers for John McCain for president.” Winston Churchill once said: “...

Late Conversion

When Arthur Rimbaud reached Marseilles in August 1891, he had only three months to live. He had come from Roche, in the Ardennes, changing trains in Paris on a...

Junk Thought

I remember when I first tried it. I said it would be a one-time thing, but I soon became a daily user, unable to resist the promise of a brief escape from the...

Don't Assign These Books

The best-selling atheistic manifestoes by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens are now in the paperback phase of their remarkable cultural tour....