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Ross Douthat's Erasmus Lecture


First Things has now posted the text of Ross Douthat’s “Erasmus Lecture,” delivered at the end of October, and a curious text it is, starting with the title. Is there really a "crisis" for conservative Catholics, or is it just a snit? Douthat is smart, but he has for too long accepted at face value the American conservative, or neo-conservative, narrative about developments within the Catholic Church over the past fifty years.

A Bleak Midwinter; A Blessed Christmas


One of the most beautiful nineteenth century Christmas carols is “In the Bleak Midwinter.” I have always been a bit suspicious of its emotional pull: Midwinter in England may experience “snow on snow” but midwinter in the eastern Mediterranean, where Bethlehem is located, is surely far less bleak. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful carol, and the words benefit from being set to a tune by Holst.


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January 29-February 11, 2016


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