George Dennis O’Brien
Dennis O'Brien, past president of the University of Rochester, lives in Middlebury, Vermont. He is the author of The Church and Abortion: A Catholic Dissent (Rowman & Littlefield).
Catholicism and the secular state
The intertwining of the Catholic Church and politics, from World War I to Trump
April 4, 2019
The crucified Christ isn’t a tragic hero
In a comic reversal, says Terry Eagleton, the death of God incarnate reveals a fragile social order.
August 16, 2018
The many colors of betrayal
When does compromise descend into treason or apostasy?
May 2, 2017
A time to shout and a time to whisper
There’s a place in society for prophetic denunciation. There’s also a place for restraint.
September 30, 2016
After We Die, by Stephen T. Davis
The Nicene Creed concludes with resurrection and eternal life. But, Stephen Davis observes, neither reality can be proved by experience.
January 13, 2016
A Philosophical Walking Tour with C. S. Lewis, by Stewart Goetz
Stewart Goetz’s book is provocative and carefully argued. But I am puzzled as to why the ordinary reader of C. S. Lewis would be worried about the road not taken.
September 9, 2015
The Greatest Empire, by Emily Wilson
Emily Wilson offers a carefully balanced narrative of Seneca's life that is derived, as it must be, from partial and often contradictory sources.
July 22, 2015
The Soul of the World, by Roger Scruton
Roger Scruton’s basic theme is this: “Science cannot tell who I am, let alone where, when, or how.” But I-you moral dialogue is not rooted in science.
February 15, 2015
Aquinas on the Beginning and End of Human Life, by Fabrizio Amerini
Fabrizio Amerini’s analysis creates precision about Aquinas on beginning-of-life issues—something other accounts, especially abortion polemics, often lack.
December 2, 2014
Cloud of skeptics
Peter Watson sketches in the lives and thoughts of an array of scientists, artists, and philosophers who offer ways to cope with the death of God.
August 28, 2014
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Fire and Light, by James MacGregor Burns
James MacGregor Burns has authored an eminently readable history of that elusive historical movement we call the Enlightenment.
February 5, 2014
The God Argument, by A. C. Grayling
Having written a weekly column in the Guardian and published a series of books on philosophy for the general reader, A. C. Grayling is a rarity: a well-known philosopher....
May 21, 2013
More books have been published about Stanley Cavell than he has written himself. Why?
March 8, 2012
A Little History of Philosophy, by Nigel Warburton
Nigel Warburton is a senior lecturer for Britain's Open University, a service originated by the BBC to provide education via television to adults who had not gone on to higher education. A Little History of Philosophy is focused on that audience and on anyone else who knows little about philosophy except that it is, as Warburton says, "impenetrable and obscure."
December 27, 2011
Why Marx Was Right, by Terry Eagleton
Reading a book by Terry Eagleton is like watching fireworks. The reader can become so delighted with the rhetorical pyrotechnics that the force of the argument is lost....
April 17, 2011
The Logic of the Heart: Augustine, Pascal, and the Rationality of Faith
Skepticism sells well at retail but not at wholesale....
January 12, 2010