06/01/1988

The fashionable topic these days is American decline. The topic seems to recur generationally. In 1934, Reinhold Niebuhr published Reflections on the End of an Era, and throughout the early part of that decade Niebuhr was preoccupied with the descent of the capitalist West and the ascent of Adolf Hitler. For more than forty years, [...]

The fashionable topic these days is American decline. The topic seems to recur generationally. In 1934, Reinhold Niebuhr published Reflections on the End of an Era, and throughout the early part of that decade Niebuhr was preoccupied with the descent of the capitalist West and the ascent of Adolf Hitler. For more than forty years, [...]

During presidential elections, political reporters occasionally latch onto a story about religious voting patterns, but they never follow those patterns on a systematic basis. This year, for example, they have written about white Evangelicals in the South, Jews in New York, and black Baptist churches across the country. But they missed another important story—the role [...]

Crisis contributing editor Phyllis Zagano met recently with Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston at his residence for a discussion about the Catholic Church in America. This is an edited transcript of their conversation. Crisis: A particular question for Americans, and one that American Catholics are a little confused about, is the issue of an "American [...]

In certain respects 20 years is a long time. While it's not quite a generation, there exists a whole cohort of adult Catholics who were not alive during the sixties or who were too young to be aware of the tumult the issuance of Humanae Vitae engendered. Catholics of this generation are an assorted lot. [...]

From 1968 to 1973, I was the national chairman of the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL), the youth section of the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas and Eugene V. Debs. Its creed was democratic socialism. The YPSL's reaction to the New Left was ambivalent. Culturally we were part of it. We were radicals; we even [...]

The United States Catholic Conference has come out with a first draft of its "women's pastoral," entitled "Partners in the Mystery of Redemption." While its 131 pages include some valuable insights, in general the letter is neither pastoral, nor primarily about the authentic needs of women. It is strongly feminist and almost entirely lacking in [...]

Strictly speaking, there are no such things as "women's concerns," either inside the Church or out. Abortion, contraception, and divorce (to single out the sexual topics addressed in the first draft of "Partners in the Mystery of Redemption") all involve men and children either as participants or victims. They also have a devastating impact on [...]

The ways in which Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II address the question of theology and authority is frequently described as "integralism." They are accused of integralism, needless to say, by their opponents, for integralism is a very unpleasant word in the history of Roman Catholic thought. Integrisme was the motto of a [...]

Known as the "Philosopher of Solidarity," Rev. Jozef Tischner is a leading Polish philosopher and theologian. Rev. Tischner is currently director of the Institute of Philosophy at the Papal Theology Faculty in Krakow (in which position he is a successor to John Paul II, and he remains a close adviser to the Holy Father). He [...]

As Ronald Reagan comes to the end of his presidency, we can acknowledge that he has been almost the only public figure of his rank consistently to oppose abortion as a civil policy, with the intention of doing something about it. That he was not able to do more is almost exclusively due to the [...]

Last summer I got the shock of my life. In a movie I attended, only three expletives were uttered. Stunned by a script whose dialogue was not punctuated by foul language, it took me days to figure out the anomaly. Revelation: the movie was set in August of 1963—before public obscenity, actual or scripted, was [...]

Since the invention of moveable type, the precision of voice in the printed sign—the suggestions of gesture and tone accompanying voice—has been increasingly a challenge to the poet. The critic has enlarged his office largely in this ambiguous ground, appropriating to himself increasingly an authority whose culmination has been the establishment of ambiguity in the [...]

It is not of course true that only non-Catholics are interested in the intellectual patrimony of Catholicism, however tempting the thought may sometimes be. Take the case of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, a veritable Vesuvius of literature. How could nearly a hundred titles ever be forgotten? Yet, that evangelical colleges and Protestant publishing houses seemed for [...]

Some novels are ruined when they are turned into movies. Some are improved. And some are exposed. The faithful, indeed nearly reverential film adaptation of Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City does to the book what its critics should have done upon its publication: it lays bare its poverty of invention and characterization. The book [...]

MENU