Religion

'Pure Act'

It is the purpose Michael N. McGregor’s biography of Robert Lax to move him out from under the shadow of Merton’s personality and give him his own place in the sun.

'Shakespeare and Abraham'

In Ken Jackson's reading, Abraham points to the possibility of offering a truly generous gift, a gift for which one would hope for nothing in return.

'Hope Without Optimism'

Terry Eagleton gives a witty and insightful tour of hope’s complicated linguistic terrain that carefully avoids proposing some once-and-for-all grand Theory of Hope.

Religion Booknotes 2016

Frederica Mathewes-Green on Eastern Orthodoxy; Brian E. Daley and Paul Kolbert on Psalm interpretations, Philip Jenkins on lost gospels; James O'Donnell on pagans

'Pagans'

O’Donnell’s distinctive point is that “paganism” is entirely an invention of Christianity—a definition of the “other” that paralleled fourth-century Christianity.

'Catholic Labor Movements in Europe'

Paul Misner's new book goes beyond social and labor movements in the church to deal with papal and episcopal action vis-à-vis the great powers between 1914 and 1965.

Last Word: A Vigil

One day after Mass, my devout husband told me that he wanted to sign up for an hour of silent protest outside of the abortion center. I understood, of course.

First Things First

Charges of sowing division in the church are more properly lodged against one of the heroes of conservative Catholicism: the late Richard John Neuhaus.

Letter from Rome

Francis said though it's impossible to “cancel out” faults of the past, this should not “continue to contaminate” relations with various other Christian communities.

Doctrine Air

Engagement with vexing questions is part of the life of a pilgrim church. It is strangely un-Catholic to assert that doctrine does not and cannot change.

Letter from Rome

In Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionalists disagree with Pope Francis's “polyhedron ecumenism”; In the U.S. they highlight the faults of married deacons.

Care Extended

Pope Francis kicked off the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s. I started my observance with a brilliant black comedy from HBO.
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