Tuesday, March 25, 2008


More on Christian-Muslim relations: Christianity in Turkey, and interesting Coptic priest and Spengler's take on the Allam story.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Last Sunday the Pope baptized Magdi Allam. The fact that he chose to do it in such a public manner is very remarkable. Allam is a major public figure both in Italy and in the Arab speaking world, and his public conversion will force many Muslim to take a position on issues like freedom of religion, apostasy and so on...

Allam's letter to the editor of Corriere della sera is also very interesting.

The anti-curriculum movement.

E.D. Hirsch is always very lucid on matters of education.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mysterious ways

This is quite striking, if you think of his previous job.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like talking to 5-year olds

How to give the most shallow possible interpretation of the Pope's proposal about education and Christian identity: reduce it to a problem of discipline. The amazing thing is that both "liberal" and "conservatives" share exactly the same mentality, and both seem totally unaware of (and uninterested in) what Benedict XVI has been talking about. Regensburg, the speech at La Sapienza etc: they are just irrelevant to the official U.S. Catholic intellighentsia. All they want to know is if the Pope is going to intervene in their squabbles.

Knowledge and meaning

A new Templeton Prize winner.


An update on Iraqi Christians.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wake up E.J.

E. J. Dionne thinks that the culture wars are over. It is very telling that he thinks that "religion and culture" have nothing to do with "prosperity and security," i.e. with the real life of society. The fascinating thing is that Dionne (a progressive Catholic) shares with his conservative Protestant "enemies" exactly the SAME idea of the relationship between religion and politics. Namely religion brings a "moral" input to politics (on the right, abortion and gay marriage; on the left social justice and the environment). The possibility that what is at stake are the foundations of our life together as human beings (freedom, the value of the person, the nature of the family, the problem of education etc.) seems to escape him completely. This is the tragedy of western liberalism: to take for granted (and often to undermine) all the things that made it possible.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Florida on steroids

What is really fascinating about Dubai is that apparently there are thousands and thousands of people in the "western" world who are so affluent and so without roots that they are willing to go live in a completely artificial and remote location. This really says something about the kind of relationships they (do not) have in the places where they grew up.

Bored to violence

T. Dalrymple reviews the work of J. G. Ballard. He also has a fun column on Prozac.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Love does not fade

You can always rely on the Guardian to show you the logical outcome of all the bad ideas that have shaped Western culture in the last couple of centuries. As Guardini said, it is an important development that finally, after several centuries, the long attempt to have Christianity without Christ (e.g. in our understanding of the love between men and women) is over. Now things will be much more transparent.