Featured Conversations

We all, each and every one, need help navigating the complexities of life. We are all vulnerable and poor. We all need a decent society with decent laws and decent religion. We’re contending for such decency, and not for ourselves alone.
Marriage is not always easy, and children can be exhausting. Yet it turns out that human happiness is found only in the gift of self. Work can be a generous gift of oneself, of course, but for many the flight from marriage and children into workism results not in the finding of self but in its loss.
In 2021, Public Discourse intends to examine our need for institutions and possible ways to renew and rethink them. While readers can expect to see this theme recur throughout the year, we have in the last month, and particularly in the last week, launched this theme in a series of excellent essays. They’re worth the time to read and carefully consider.
The authors and editors at PD don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but we think we know something about which questions we need to raise, and who we should ask to address them. As more and more about America and conservatism seem up for debate, expect PD to continue to provide a path forward.
During this difficult year, Public Discourse authors have called us to hold on to hope, even when those around us succumb to despair.
Americans are just a month away from choosing our next president. Voting is a great responsibility, and we at Public Discourse seek to inform readers with a variety of viewpoints and arguments all coming from thinkers who share our basic moral commitments.
As Americans head back to school—or try homeschooling for the first time—it is worth recalling several Public Discourse essays on the nature and purpose of education, along with advice for all of those engaged in this important vocation.
Discrimination and prejudice on the basis of race is a violation of the human dignity of our neighbors, and we all have a responsibility to fight injustice wherever it is found. The question, of course, is how we ought to do this. Are the foundations of our American systems of government and civil society fundamentally unjust? Or have we only failed in living up to their lofty calls and promises? Do we need to tear down our institutions or reform them?
Is the separation of church and state to blame for the sidelining of religion in public life, and for the moral drift that gave us abortion on demand, the redefinition of marriage, and our transgender moment? Can religious “neutrality” ever be achieved, or will the state act on the basis of some comprehensive doctrine no matter what, in which case better for it to be acting firmly and directly on the basis of the truth? Is integralism—be it conservatively Catholic or progressively secular—inevitable? We offer these essays collected here to help you as you discern where the truth lies.
In the midst of a global pandemic, many parts of everyday life have been locked-down, adapted, or shuttered. The race of productivity and activity has screeched to a halt. Normally crammed schedules have turned into pages of open space. The opportunity for leisure can be embraced or squandered. Through this collection, Matthew Franck offers wide-ranging, excellent recommendations for classic literature and cinema to enrich our intellectual lives and encourage virtuous living. 
Coronavirus has upended our lives. How should we respond? How should we think about the government's response? What moral principles should govern our society as we move forward? And how can we flourish during these trying times? Public Discourse authors shed some light.