Books

Books

America's theologian

Only one portrait of Jonathan Edwards was painted during his lifetime, a rather conventional “likeness” done by the Boston-based painter Joseph Badger. The face is severe, aloof, unsmiling and suspiciously similar to many of the other faces in Badger’s 150 or so portraits from the 1740s and ’50s.

Rescue mission

A decade ago humanitarian intervention, defined by Brian Lepard as “the use of military force to protect the victims of human rights violations,” seemed to be a policy whose time had come. Now it is hotly debated.

Divided church

Today the Roman Catholic Church in the United States is on the verge of either an irreversible decline or a thoroughgoing transformation” is the topic sentence of Peter Steinfels’s extraordinarily valuable survey of the present state of America’s largest Christian community.

Jesus people

Over the past three decades Wayne A. Meeks has investigated the social world of the early followers of Jesus. “The emphasis on the social context of writing and meaning . . . has been perhaps the principal theme of my scholarship,” notes Meeks, professor emeritus at Yale.