Fides Quaerens Intellectum
“Faith Seeking Understanding”
PostModernism Modernism Liberalism Tolerance Secularism
Debating the Separation of Religion and Politics
by Richard John Neuhaus

"I speak in favor of the separation of church and state, and therefore against the resolution that religion and politics should always be kept separate. Permit me to explain. To enforce the exclusion of religion from politics, or from public life more generally, violates the First Amendment guarantee of the “free exercise of religion.” The free exercise of religion is the reason for the separation of church and state—a principle that aims not at protecting the state from religion but at protecting religion from the state."

First Things daily blog entry, 11/16/07.
Socrates or Muhammad
by Lee Harris

"Benedict argues that the "inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history." For Benedict, however, this event is not mere ancient history. It is a legacy that we in the West are all duty-bound to keep alive--yet it is a legacy that is under attack, both from those who do not share it, namely Islam, and from those who are its beneficiaries and do not understand it, namely, Western intellectuals."

From the 10/02/06 issue of The Weekly Standard:
Theocracy! Theocracy! Theocracy!
by Ross Douthat.

"So the rise of the Religious Right, and the growing “religion gap” that Phillips describes but fails to understand, aren’t new things in American history but a reaction to a new thing: to an old political party newly dependent on a bloc of voters who reject the role that religion has traditionally played in American political life. The hysteria over theocracy, in turn, represents an attempt to rewrite the history of the United States to suit these voters’ prejudices, by setting a year zero somewhere around 1970 and casting everything that’s happened since as a battle between progress and atavism, reason and fundamentalism, the Enlightenment and the medieval dark."

From the August/September 2006 issue of First Things:
What Philosophy Can Do
by John Haldane

A good overview of what has happened to philosophy in an age of secularism and evolutionism.

"We face a genuine intellectual challenge in keeping alive issues that were once constitutive of philosophy and overlapped with the concerns of theologians—issues such as what it might mean to say that human beings are rational animals, and whether human rationality implies the existence of an immaterial principle, and how the existence of rational animals might point to the existence of a supreme being: in short, issues of mind, soul, and deity."

From the November 2005 issue of First Things:
Secularism Doesn't Just Happen
by Richard John Neuhaus

"Social scientists who had long propounded “secularization theory,” Peter L. Berger very notably among them, have in recent years undergone a major change of mind. The contribution of Smith’s big book is in his detailed analysis of the dubious (sometimes contrary to fact) assumptions underlying the theory, and in the case studies he and his colleagues present showing how various interest groups have employed the theory in the service of their own quest for power, usually at the expense of religion and religious institutions."

From the March 2005 issue of First Things:
Diverse Diversities
by Barry Bercier

"But then of course universities use the term not as the morally neutral term it is. Rather they transform it into a buzzword to identify an ideal of university education. And that ideal, like all objects of human aspiration, presupposes a comprehensive view of mankind—one according to which human beings are poised to become, merely through their own efforts, psychologically and spiritually complete. Recognizing the pathological consequences of this false conception of diversity is crucial. But even more important is coming to understand the truth that it actively (though perhaps unconsciously) seeks to obscure—namely, the truth about human diversity and its implications for our hopes for wholeness."

From the January 2004 issue of First Things:
Europe's Problem - and Ours
by George Weigel

Europe's path to secularism and decline and its lesson for us today.

"The common thread running through these disparate thinkers is the conviction that the deepest currents of history are spiritual and cultural, rather than political and economic. In this way of thinking, history is not simply the by-product of the contest for power in the world—although power certainly plays an important role in it. And neither is history the exhaust fumes produced by the means of production. Rather, history is driven, over the long haul, by culture—by what men and women honor, cherish, and worship; by what societies deem to be true and good, and by the expressions they give to those convictions in language, literature, and the arts; by what individuals and societies are willing to stake their lives on."

From the February 2004 issue of First Things:
The Politics of Partisan Neutrality
by Lois Bolce and Gerald De Maio

Why the Democratic Party sadly became the party of secularism and took that side of the culture war.

"While reporters usually recognize that there is some sort of problem about “values” and about 'faith-based' principles, and that the Democrats and Republicans are often on opposite sides, writers and editors tend to publish news and analysis as if the situation were as follows: The Christian right, having infiltrated the Republican Party, is importing its divisive religious ideas into our public life, whereas the Democratic Party is the neutral camp of tolerant and pluralistic Americans."

From the May 2004 issue of First Things:
The Naked Public Square Now: A Symposium

From the November 2004 issue of First Things:
Christopher Lasch and the Limits of Hope
by Patrick J. Deneen

The failure of liberalism

From the December 2004 issue of First Things:
Three Meanings of Secular
by Douglas Farrow

Illustrates the myth of a secular state being neutral toward religion and religous people or groups.

From the May 2003 issue of First Things:
Secularism at Bay
by C. John Sommerville

From the June 2003 issue of First Things:
Visions of Eternity
by Leszek Kowakowski

(God in a godless time)

From the June 2003 issue of First Things:
Justice Stevens' Religion Problem
by Robert F. Nagel

From the June 2003 issue of First Things:
Fighting the Noonday Devil
by R. R. Reno

From the August 2003 issue of First Things:
A Most Partial Historian
by D. B. Hart

Secularism in Post-Christian England

From the December 2003 issue of First Things:
Philosophy and Tyranny
by Damon Linker

The result of philosophy and morality without God.

From the January 2002 issue of First Things:
Proselytizing for Tolerance
by Paul Griffiths and Jean Bethke Elshtain

From the November 2002 issue of First Things:
Rescuing Tolerance
by A. J. Conyers

From the August 2001 issue of First Things:
American Satyricon
by R. R. Reno

How to understand the postmodern world in which we now live.

From the October 2001 issue of First Things:
The Gods of Left and Right
by Richard John Neuhaus

A critique of Richard Rorty and the American Left in general.
"From time to time, voices are raised urging us to get beyond such labels, beyond left and right, beyond liberal and conservative. Such voices belong to those who are aptly called 'beyondists' and they are usually located on the left."

From the March 1999 issue of First Things:
A Clash of Orthodoxies
by Robert P. George

The culture war in America

From the August 1999 issue of First Things:
Culture War No More?
by James Nuechterlien

From the October 1999 issue of First Things:
When Everything is Permitted
by Wolfhart Pannenberg

From the February 1998 issue of First Things:
Mr. Emerson's Tombstone
by Wilfred M. McClay

Ralph Waldo Emerson and the rise of liberalism.

From the May 1998 issue of First Things:
Augustine's World and Ours
by Glenn Tinder

An good overview of the progress or digress of Western Civilization.

From the December 1997 issue of First Things:
Beyond Pluralism
A book review by Paul J. Griffiths

On the dominant modern or postmodern idea that no one religion can be true.

From the January 1996 issue of First Things:
The Problem with Liberalism
by J. Budziszewski

From the March 1996 issue of First Things:
The Future of Belief
by Thomas Fitzgerald

From the May 1996 issue of First Things:
How to Think About Secularism
by Wolfhart Pannenberg

From the June 1996 issue of First Things:
Natural Law and a Nihilistic Culture
by Carl F. H. Henry

From the January 1995 issue of First Things:
The Ultimately Liberal Condition
by Roger Lundin

From the April 1995 issue of First Things:
Hard Truths About the Culture War
by Robert H. Bork

From the June 1995 issue of First Things:
Christianity and the West: Ambiguous Past, Uncertain Future
by Wolfhart Pannenberg

From the December 1994 issue of First Things:
Christians and PostModerns
by J. Bottum

"And yet, though we cannot revert, we nonetheless have resources that may help us to advance beyond these late times. The modern project that attacked the Middle Ages has itself been under attack for some time. For some time, hyper-modern writers have brought to bear against their modern past the same sort of scarifying analysis that earlier modern writers brought against the premodern past. These later writers, supposing the modern destruction of God to be complete, have turned their postmodern attacks upon the modern project of Enlightenment rationality."

From the February 1994 issue of First Things:
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