When Good Books Are Written by Bad People

To believe that we cannot both enjoy the work of a disreputable artist and condemn the artist is to underestimate our own capacity for ethical discernment and to deprive ourselves needlessly of sources of wisdom.
Christianity and Judaism have survived, and now thrive, not by erasing the problematic aspects of their past, but by openly acknowledging them—by building them into their rituals and incorporating them into the very fabric of their faith.
The remarkable growth of Jewish Orthodoxy, evangelical Christianity, orthodox Catholicism, and devout Islam in this post-secular age demonstrates that many people are seeking to recover a sense of meaning that transcends the material.
The last great sexual sin of our time is not related to any specific sex act or forbidden partner. The greatest sexual sin of our time is not a sin of commission but of omission: the sin of not doing it at all.
On this tenth anniversary of the birth of the first smartphone, the day of reckoning is at hand: how will we Millennials produce the next generation of great books when the smartphone has killed our capacity to concentrate?
In his new book, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks argues that the solution for religious violence must come from religion itself.
Modern films, Victorian literature, and Jewish sages illustrate a religiously grounded, morally mature approach to the classic internal conflict identified by great thinkers from Plato to Freud.
Very soon, the classic scenarios of artificial intelligence from science fiction will become reality. Recognizing the moral and ethical concerns such achievements will raise can help us begin to address them. Whether the development of new technology will be good or bad will depend on how we use it.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Wallace’s life is that—for all his brilliance—he could never fill the dry void in his life with the waters of meaning.
Our treasured religious beliefs tell us time and time again to care for the poor and the destitute and to love the strangers among us. We know that domestic workers and underprivileged laborers deserve our care and attention, but in our celebrity-suffused culture, we often forget this truth.
Richard Linklater’s new film is powerful because it reminds us that the dull, plotless events of our fleeting lives matter in the way in which all quotidian things matter: as Joycean “epiphanies of the ordinary.”
With its controversial decision concerning the voice of God, the movie “Exodus: Gods & Kings” demonstrates the limits of what we can really know about God.
The most prominent Catholic character on television consistently employed religious themes and theological motifs on his award-winning TV show—never more glaringly so than in the series’ grand finale
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.
In a society in which the profit motive tends to make all other interests subordinate to the almighty dollar, Chick-fil-A’s founder declared that the store would not be open on the Sabbath.
At times, cinema succeeds where philosophy fails. Films like Nebraska show us the importance of honoring our elderly parents and remind us of the unique dignity of every human person.
A future without religion will be a future diminished, for faith—but only a certain kind of faith—is absolutely necessary in the space age.
Painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s vision of creativity reflects the theological concept that man is made in the image of God.