Easter vs. Irony

At the beginning of Lent, I was sent a moving account of the recent funeral procession of a young American soldier, which took place near his hometown in the South.

Books for Christmas

A year ago, the formidable Dorothy Rabinowitz asked me for a Christmastide Wall Street Journal column, to be dubbed the “Five Best Books on Christianity.” I suggested Matthew, Mark, Luke,

Why Cooking Counts

My first adventures in the culinary arts took place in Toronto when I was doing graduate work in theology. The technical conditions were not optimal: the ancient electric stove in

On the Tenth Anniversary of a Breakdown

In the late summer of 1997, I fled Washington with 20 linear feet of files, a Toshiba laptop, and two magnums of Kentucky’s finest, and hightailed it to Divine Redeemer

The Case for "Moral Democratic Realism"

In The Joys of Yiddish, the late, great Leo Rosten noted with relish the classic definition of chutzpa: “Chutzpa is that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his

Land O’Lakes and the CUA Wars, 40 Years Later

Forty years ago this coming summer, some two dozen prominent Catholic educators met at a Wisconsin resort and issued the “Land O’Lakes Statement.” Those were heady days in the academy:

To the Rescue, Again

The calendar pages turn, Lent unfolds  —  and once again, God comes to the rescue of our humanity. That is what we remember, ponder, and celebrate each year in the

Angrier, Dumber, Better Selling

About nine months ago, a reporter from  the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire called and asked whether the rash of “atheist books” being published in the U.S. suggested a new trend

Worth Saving

1. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church  Edited by F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone (Oxford University, 1997). “The Christian Church has been so closely interwoven with the course of

Books for Christmas

The past year has seen the publication of any number of books I’ve wanted to write about, but didn’t. Here they are, as suggestions for Christmas gifts that will provoke

On Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures

**On Monday evening, November 20, Pope Benedict XVI’s newest book, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, was introduced at a conference at the United Nations co-sponsored by Ignatius Press, Edizioni Cantagalli, the

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