Religious Life

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Artist, Activist, Martyr

Bolivia's gift to Francis of a hammer-and-sickle crucifix implied its artist was a secret Marxist. I was disconcerted: This was not at all the Luis Espinal I knew.

Letter from Rome

Who sits with Francis in the papal plane; How Benedict contrasts with history's other pope emeritus; Why one Italian mayor is mad the pope won't take a vacation.
Msgr. Dario Viganò

Letter from Rome

As Francis plans to overhaul the Holy See's media management, a bishop-psychotherapist is assigned to help remove "playboy priests" from an infamous Italian diocese.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

An Unlikely Union

Paul Moses's history of Irish-Italian relations in 19th century New York delves into the causes for "race war" between the immigrant groups and how they overcame it.

New Tests for 'Old' China's Catholics

The countryside is the bedrock of Chinese traditions and of Chinese Catholicism. But urbanization and government pressure are threats to these enduring communities.

Letter from Rome

Francis's week: talking church reform with cardinals and peace with Vladimir Putin. And saints' bodies are en route to Rome. Is Francis reviving medieval devotions?

Letter from Rome

A preview of upcoming papal visits at home, abroad and with Italian protestants. And the press turns Francis's list of "attacks on life" into an abortion debate.

Letters | Francis & sexual abuse; sober history; knowing Jesus

Readers "angered at the tortured logic of the editors" respond to the removal of Bishop Finn, Francis's failures, the value of "big history," and how to know Jesus.

Letter from Rome

Oscar Romero will be declared a martyr, Francis tells bishops to stop "trying to tell Catholics what to do all the time," and cardinals deny the pope has enemies.

Old News: The World Is Not Christian

Unlike past Eurocentric taxonomies of world religions, the latest Norton anthology aims to let six major, living, international religions speak...in their own words.
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Book Reviews

An Unlikely Union

June 25, 2015 | 4 comments

Life After Faith

April 30, 2015 | 2 comments

Medieval Christianity

April 20, 2015 | 2 comments

The Great Reformer

January 22, 2015 | 5 comments

Born from the Gaze of God

January 12, 2015 | 0 comments

The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio

October 30, 2014 | 5 comments