About J. David Nolan

J. David Nolan is a junior fellow at First Things. He graduated from Williams College in 2013 with a degree in philosophy.

Why We Need Monks

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 Religious communities serve as icons of the Christian life. Today more than ever, we need their witness of poverty, chastity, and obedience to counteract our contemporary excesses.“Fathers and teachers, what is a monk?” asks the Elder Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov. “In the enlightened world of today,” he says, referring to Dostoyevsky’s Russia, “this word is uttered in mockery by some, and by others even as a term of abuse. And it gets worse and worse.”Though monasticism is s … [Read more...]


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