Compassion in the Face of Force

Simone_Weil_1921

 For Simone Weil, justice is primarily an act of paying attention, which protects the sacred cry in every human being not to be hurt. "It would seem that man is born a slave and that servitude is his natural condition." So concludes Simone Weil’s Analysis of Oppression. The essay is a study of political history,  but throughout her short life, Weil also encountered human slavery far more immediately. Born in Paris in 1909 to an agnostic French-Jewish middle-class family, she was, i … [Read more...]

The Evangelicals You Don’t Know

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 Any reportage on American Evangelicals that cautions its audience not “to dismiss these people as... zealots who have surrendered their ability to think rationally” immediately stands apart from most religious journalism. So Tom Krattenmaker’s The Evangelicals You Don’t Know: Introducing the Next Generation of Christians is a welcome work by that standard alone.Unsatisfied with the attitude that “not only insults these Christians but also mocks what is supposed to be a hallmark of t … [Read more...]

Blessed Are the Homesick: Hospitality for Mobile Millennials

dinnerwcurrys

The independent rootlessness of emerging adults presents potent opportunities for the practice of hospitality. Shana Tovah! It was Rosh Hashanah in Washington, D.C. I unexpectedly found myself on my neighbor’s patio, ringing in the lunar New Year with a small gathering of his Jewish friends. Everyone was in his or her twenties, a bipartisan collection of government staffers, advocacy workers, and writers. California. Georgia. New Jersey. Everyone was from somewhere else.Our host i … [Read more...]

Privilege, Repentance, Forgiveness

privilege

Identifying privilege offers insight into grace and allows us to take responsibility for both our own responses and the needs of others.Since graduating from college, I have received countless emails asking alumni for donations, most of which I have ignored. After the umpteenth solicitation, I started to think about why I should “give back” and reflect more deeply. “What benefits had I received from my elite education?” There were some obvious answers: social prestige, higher income, intell … [Read more...]

The End of Our Exploring

The-End-of-Our-Exploring

 “We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers,” Rachel Held Evans explained in her viral blog post “Why Millenials Are Leaving the Church.” Matthew Lee Anderson offers a response of sorts to Evan’s crie de coeur in his latest book, The End of Our Exploring: A Book About Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Unfortunately, it’s one unlikely to satisfy people like Evans. As a former atheist who became a Christian in college largely though the process of intellectual i … [Read more...]

The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat

DispensibleNation

 Politics, meet the water’s edge. One sense of the old phrase “politics stops at the water’s edge” is that it’s one thing for foreign affairs to impact politics and it is another thing entirely for political considerations to dictate strategy. The foolishness of politics-as-strategy is the central theme of Vali Nasr’s The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat. Formerly special advisor to the late Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan … [Read more...]

The New Privacy: How the NSA Protects Our Right to Be Isolationists

Surveillance_quevaal

  Constant surveillance by an impersonal power preserves a modern society more autonomous and secretive than any that came before. You have never been watched more than you were today. The parking meter you paid with a credit card, the camera at the café’s door, the gift card you used to buy your coffee, the emails you sent from your laptop, and the status you posted on Facebook have tracked you, tagged you, placed you, recorded you, spotted you. Your information has … [Read more...]


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