Philosophy

Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan

Anthony T. Kronman— I can now see that my anxious wish to master my world in thought has from the start been a longing to understand its relation to eternity, but without a God of the sort to whom Christians, Jews and Muslims pray. This is an intellectual longing, of

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What Kind of Life Are We Saving?

Bernard-Henri Lévy— The only debate that has truly engaged Europe and the United States is the one about the comparative vices and virtues of the Korean and Chinese, Thai or Singaporean, Confucian or liberal models for compelling people to meet health requirements. To their credit, a number of so-called learned

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Ten Minute Guided Meditation with Stephen Batchelor

Stephen Batchelor is a teacher and scholar of Buddhism. He is the author of numerous works, including Buddhism without Beliefs, Living with the Devil, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Secular Buddhism, and After Buddhism. Read More from Stephen Batchelor The Art of Solitude In a time of social distancing and isolation, a meditation on

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A Matter of Dignity

Donna Hicks— Like so many of us, I am deeply saddened and outraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis police. The jaw dropping video showing the fatal actions of Derek Chauvin, while George pleaded for his life, were beyond comprehension. What happened to Derek

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The Scottish Enlightenment

J. H. Elliott— When asserting their equality of status with English men and women in the British national enterprise, Scots in the 1760s and early 1770s could point to Scotland’s new-found prosperity and to the dramatic improvements in the agrarian economy made in recent years. At this rate they would

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The Sacrifice at Calvary

Terry Eagleton— Walter Benjamin’s theory of tragedy in his The Origin of German Tragic Drama has some affinities with the Christian view of Calvary. Tragedy for Benjamin is essentially sacrifice, but of a peculiarly doubled kind: if it propitiates the gods under ancient law, it also inaugurates a revolutionary new

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Standing for Reason at the Universities

John Sexton— Over twenty-five years ago, in a speech at Saint Louis University, I focused on a too-little-noticed day in 1957, a turning point in American history: October 8, 1957. The day’s edition of New York’s major tabloid the Daily News bore two screaming headlines. The first announced the demise of

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“Hunker” Is a Verb

Bill Vitek— As a philosopher and educator, and currently without students or courses to teach, I ponder and write about this moment with my stock-and-trade academic training, but also as a parent, spouse, brother, friend, and neighbor. I can report that currently all in my immediate orbit are reasonably safe

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Nietzsche and Moses’s Stutter

Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg— The tendency of meaning to burn out of language is a constant theme in Nietzsche’s writings. Here lies the paradox of the stammer: May your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of names: and if you must speak of her, then do not be ashamed to

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Human Rights and Human Responsibilities

Kathryn Sikkink— Sometimes we get so enamored with our rights that we forget about our corresponding responsibilities. In order to fully realize our own rights and the rights of others, we also need to embrace and practice responsibilities. For example, people in the United States like to think they have

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