Category: Social Trends

Modern (Psycho)Social Imaginaries: Towards a Taylorian Critique of Pop-Psychology

Do we really need another essay about Charles Taylor? I think so. What I am interested in briefly exploring here is how Taylor’s work, specifically in A Secular Age, can help us understand the draw people feel towards pop psychology...

/ February 8, 2022

Purity Culture

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” (Matthew 27:24) Our contemporary culture has...

/ April 13, 2021

The Dogma of Minimalist Drama

In his comedy sketch about “Stuff,” George Carlin joked that the whole meaning of life can be described as “Trying to find a place to put your stuff!” After all, that’s what a house is: it’s a “place to keep...

/ August 17, 2020

Keep Christianity Weird

Oliver O’Donovan begins the sixth chapter of his Desire of the Nations, a chapter concerned with the status and legitimacy of Christendom, by considering what made the political witness of the early church compelling:

/ May 12, 2020

An Intercourse with Ghosts: The Unabomber, Irony, and Terror

1. To write about Theodore J. Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, is to sit for a moment with the ghosts of his victims peering over your shoulder. The dead and the maimed, both. Just as much as you try to...

/ October 31, 2019
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The Real Place for Conflict: On Keeping Controversy Close to Home

By Justin Frank Social media gives unprecedented opportunities to know about and engage in controversy. Many of these controversies are rooted in places far from us; involve people we’ve never met (and will likely never know); and grow out of...

/ February 20, 2019

If Anything Is Pro-Life, Nothing Is

“This is a pro-life issue.” By now you have probably heard this sentiment expressed about any number of issues that are not immediately related to abortion. Food stamps, taxes, healthcare—even immigration!—are designated as “pro-life” causes because they may in some...

/ January 4, 2018

A Brief Commendation: The Addicts Next Door

I cannot remember reading an essay that has moved me as much as Margaret Talbot’s devastating New Yorker piece on our opioid crisis. The prose is mostly unadorned, because it can be. Many of the stories Talbot recounts are so...

/ June 13, 2017

Reviewing Archbishop Charles Chaput’s “Strangers in a Strange Land”

We’re pleased to publish this review by Dr. Miles Smith. Recent cultural and social changes in the United States have prompted concerned Christians to pick up their pens and address their respective flocks on the question of how to maintain...

/ March 23, 2017
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Theologians Were Arguing About the Benedict Option 35 Years Ago

There’s been quite a bit of controversy lately. Perhaps you’ve heard about it. The uproar surrounds a set of proposals regarding the state of American society and the character of the church in its midst. Let me give you some...

/ March 13, 2017