A new book examines the philosophical and religious roots of American government. Amid scholarly disagreement, one thing is clear: America is a nation founded upon the truth of human freedom and equality—whether one arrives at this truth by way of Calvin or Locke.
Contrary to popular belief, Leo Strauss was not a conservative, let alone a neoconservative. Yet Strauss and conservatism share an important aim: challenging the dogmatic dismissal of the past as irrelevant to our flourishing in the present.
Novelist John Updike excelled at his craft, seemingly without effort. But it is his extreme existential doubt and ultimate decision to believe in transcendence that makes Updike’s life and literature approachable.
A new book by George Marsden offers a fresh analysis of American culture and religion in the 1950s. It also presents a way forward, based on the concept of “principled pluralism.”
In his new book on Syria, Christian Sahner explores the rise of Islam, the place of Christianity, the emergence of sectarian politics, the autocratic state, and the Lebanese paradigm.
The answer to our culture’s dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births and children raised by single parents is not to lower the bar further. Rather than promoting “planned parenting,” we should work to build a culture of marriage.
Patrick Lee and Robert P. George’s new book clearly establishes that the case for conjugal marriage is not based on irrational prejudice or sentimental appeal to tradition. It is based on a series of sophisticated arguments that deserve to be answered.
In helping developing countries to increase their economic prosperity, we must remember that human welfare cannot be reduced to material realities.
A new book tells the story of an infertile couple that has children through Indian surrogacy services—but it glosses over the costs to egg donors, surrogate mothers, and children.
Refusing to make exceptions to absolute moral norms is not unrealistic, imprudent, or inhumane. The purpose of norms is to promote human flourishing and protect what is good
Edward Feser’s latest book gives readers who are familiar with analytic philosophy an excellent overview of scholastic metaphysics in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas.
While Adam Seagrave offers a provocative and original reading of Locke, his assumptions about the self and ownership are deeply problematic.
The “why?” we ask of God receives its most persuasive answer in the beauty, the love, and the heroic devotion of human life.
Today, we face a movement to accomplish on a societal level what those who embrace morally condemned behavior have always sought as individuals: rationalization.
A new book tells the harrowing story of Memorial Medical Center, where some physicians took the lives of their patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Abolitionism provides the example for how to fight for a cause: underscore the humanity of those whose humanity is denied, provide compassionate care for those affected, name the lies that dehumanize and kill, and tirelessly argue for the truth about “who counts.”
It is ethically permissible to deliberately choose actions that lead to the death of an innocent person—but not to intend his or her death.
Steven Smith’s new book implies that it is still possible—though difficult—to recover what made the U.S. a land of free and flourishing belief.
Although Nigel Biggar’s new book on just war has many strengths, the author gets himself into a moral muddle over the question whether the deaths of innocent non-combatants can be deliberately chosen in war.
Why bother with American culture? Bottum recommends despair.
For Justice Clarence Thomas, the foundation of all our law lies in the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, beginning with human equality.
Both natural law thought and the Catechism agree: animals are not part of the same justice community as human beings, because they do not possess the dignity that comes from existing as a rational being.
Animals are not simply “a gift for human beings.” The needless cruelty inflicted on animals by factory farming not only violates a duty to provide them just treatment, but far outweighs the goods that humans gain by eating such meat.
Thomas Paine’s rationalistic emphasis on freedom, equality, and rights form the basis of our political discourse. Even so, Edmund Burke has something essential to teach us: the way we order our society will always be the consequence, first and foremost, of the way we love.
The differences between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine shed light on contemporary politics, argues Yuval Levin in his new book. But they also shed light on something deeper: two fundamentally contrasting orientations toward the world.
The embrace of a materialist and mechanistic view of the world, taking its inspiration from the rise of modern science, results in a loss of the sense of transcendence. But God is not simply some finite object in a universe of other objects—he is reason, being, and order itself.
Every economic system is based upon an implicit vision of the human person. Maciej Zieba’s new book provides an introduction to Catholic social thought that examines the anthropologies of Catholicism, liberal democracy, and the free-market economy.
Because animals are not truly our equals, advocating that we should treat them as such weakens the pro-life cause. But animals are meant to be part of our households, and the way we treat them should express beauty and virtue, not decay, pride, and domination.
Charles Camosy’s new book argues that we should treat animals with the same Christian justice that underlies our treatment of other people. But human beings and other animals are not fundamentally equal in the way that all human beings are, as free and rational beings created in the image of God.
Infertile parents who desperately seek a child might see anonymous sperm donation as the solution to their fertility difficulties. But as the stories in the Anonymous Us collective reveal, the difficulties faced by donor-conceived children are just beginning.
How should Christians form relationships with Muslims?
With optimism, precision, and intellectual elegance, Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind” defined what it meant to be an American conservative for the second half of the twentieth century.
Jonathan Rauch, in his memoir Denial, argues that only access to the institution of marriage can make gays and lesbians whole. In doing so, he purposefully suppresses the truth that there are many other options available to those who are attracted to persons of the same sex.
One Body, by Alexander Pruss, melds rigorous philosophical analysis and insightful moral theology to advance a clearly-articulated system of sexual ethics based on the call to love.
In most cases, Catholic social teaching provides the correct principles for resolving complex social and economic questions, not specific policy requirements. Nathan Shlueter reviews Sam Gregg’s new book in the voice of Paul Ryan.
Radical, by Maajid Nawaz, brings the reader inside the individual human dynamics of one young man’s transition into extremist Islamism and his eventual departure from it.
A young Muslim author learns to seek the truth about God through questioning instead of blind faith.
In his new book on Abraham Lincoln, Rich Lowry depicts our famous president as a lover of freedom, commerce, and progress whom we revere on the same plane as the founders because he, like them, articulated enduring principles that we still value.
Gabriel Schoenfeld’s new book, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign, offers an insider’s account of how misguided campaign tactics led to Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential election.
In The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Rod Dreher eulogizes his little sister with a hagiography worthy of St. Therese herself, while also evaluating his own relationships—to people and to place—according to the virtue of stability proposed by St. Benedict.
As Stephen Krason’s new book argues, America has departed from the founders’ design, and the founders may be partially responsible. But this claim is only as strong as the interpretation of the founding behind it.
Jonathan Last’s new book attributes population decline and the birth dearth to two trends that started in the Enlightenment era—first, an effort to limit death; second, an effort to control birth. Both trends are guided by a desire to control nature.
Calvin Coolidge is an exemplar for conservative leaders because he was the very opposite of an ideological dreamer; he saw his vocation as a duty to provide the country that elected him with honest and frugal government that respected limits.
Michael Klarman’s history of the push for same-sex marriage shows just how recently it’s developed and how its leaders lack substantive arguments for the nature and purpose of marriage itself.
The Reformation unintentionally undid the medieval synthesis of faith and reason. Now we romantically seek a spiritual life free from authority and tradition, or rationalistically seek truth as if human beings were autonomous and self-sufficient.
A new argument that reduces marriage to any consensual caring relationship is grounded by a cynical view of human nature that we ought not accept.
Hannah Rosin’s argument that women are replacing men as victors in a battle of the sexes ignores that happiness requires women and men to be partners, not competitors, in life.
The Hebrew Scriptures, read as a work of political theory, offer egalitarian, communitarian, and individualistic themes; two recent books incompletely capture the presence of all three.
Is inequality the cause of our worst social ills?
Nathan Harden’s “Sex and God at Yale” graphically shows what moral bankruptcy and relativism has produced at the Ivies.