Toward a New Consensus: An Invitation

American flags

The editors of Public Discourse invite conservatives of various schools to participate in the debates that will best advance our common cause. We believe that disagreement is not something to avoid. In fact, a real and productive disagreement is an accomplishment. Civilization, in the end, is formed by men and women “locked together in argument.”

Revelations from a Hidden Life

Austrian Village

The hidden life of Franz Jägerstätter offers us an example of how to love our fellow citizens in a time of partisan antagonism and division.

Insuring Rights for “Wrong” Bodies

Trans person with pill

As a recent British court decision correctly affirmed, the puberty blocking treatments being given to gender-dysphoric young people constitute experimental medicine. There is neither demonstrated efficacy nor evidence on long-term outcomes, and the risk of serious harm and irreversible damage is real. The same standards of medicine should be applied to gender dysphoria as other medical issues.

Avoiding the Delimiting of Hope

Praying hands

Against the failed hopes of the Enlightenment, scientism, and modernism, Josef Pieper calls us to embrace a hope that transcends the physical and political world.

Timely Lessons from the Sack of Rome

QAnon Shaman

If Christians truly believe that we are charged with protecting a moral vision in our country, then we must recognize that this vision cannot be imposed by force. If we want to remain more than an interest group, we must stop treating our first amendment rights as freedoms from interference and start treating them as freedoms for witness, laden with obligations of love.

Ratzinger’s Way

The first of a projected two-volume biography of the theologian-pope underscores his thought’s consistency and how it was shaped by Germany’s twentieth-century traumas.

The Bookshelf: Partisan Moments

Lincoln Douglas

Partisanship is strong drink, and moderate consumption of the intoxicant has always been difficult. Herewith some recommendations for reading on partisan moments in American history.

Open Letter to Pope Francis on Prenatal Justice


A moral theologian urges Pope Francis to bring his forceful defense of prenatal children into a more central place of his pontificate. It is time to stand up firmly and forcefully for their dignity in a culture which increasingly sees them as disposable things that can be violently discarded.

The Decline of the American “We”

Happy diverse people together in the park

In the twentieth century, Americans proliferated institutions to suit and sort themselves more and more until eventually they sorted themselves out of those institutions altogether. If we want unity in America, we at least need the most basic areas of life not to be subject to such individual preference, market-style competition, or social sorting.

When Pragmatic Politics Goes Bad: An Apology to the Never-Trumpers

Torn American Flag

I have awakened on too many days with gratitude on my lips for the blessing of living in a peaceful, orderly, democratic, and free society to see such hard-won advances thrown away for political ambition. Those who realized our inheritance was at risk saw more clearly than I did.

Writing a Rule of Life: A Timeless Tool for Decision-Making

Woman writing in journal

I may not live in a monastic community like St. Benedict, but I live among others in my own sort of domestic monastery, and I am fully invested in these members’ flourishing. My Rule of Life helps me flesh out what it means to thrive both personally and as a family.

Why Corporate America Loves the Left

The leftward drift of many American business executives is driven by both dubious economic calculations and cultural and political pressures that will corrode business’s legitimate freedoms and damage the economy’s capacity to generate wealth.

Theology of Home Shows Women the Beauty of Fruitful Living

Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering’s Theology of Home project is a counteroffensive against the dominant feminism of our culture, which has greatly degraded home and homemaking. Their latest book addresses the question of what it means for women to live fruitfully.

Learning, Justice, and Gift

People in Library

If people are more than wage-earners, then they must see that all of life is not about the practical activity of getting ahead. If they are more than political actors, then we must have education that is not expressly political. In other words, if we want to “do justice” to the total human condition, we must explore all the things that comprise the liberal arts: religion, philosophy, art, music, and literature.

La France Périphérique and the Wounds of Globalization

Veiled Woman with French Flag

Nicholas Mathieu’s novel And Their Children After Them shows the effects of globalization and progressive idealism on a de-industrialized French town. Comparisons between Mathieu’s story and JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy offer insight into rural poverty and populism in France and America.

The COVID Vaccines Are Not “Morally Compromised”

Doctor with needle

The use of HEK 293 or similar cell lines in no way perpetuates the grave injustice of abortion or implies approval of abortion. To call a cell line, a vaccine, a railroad, a medication, or any other physical thing morally compromised is simply a category mistake, because good and evil are characteristics of the human will, not of physical things.

Giving Embodiment Its Due

Public Discourse

Carter Snead shows how expressive individualism fails to account for human life as it truly is—embodied, relational, dependent, and social. As an alternative to expressive individualism, Snead posits an anthropology of embodiment, marked by themes of remembering, acknowledged dependence, gratitude, openness to the unbidden, solidarity, dignity, and friendship.