Notable links from the week, with a smattering of commentary

Buzzfeed(!) profiles pioneering Catholic feminist theologian Elizabeth Johnson. I blogged about Johnson’s book She Who Is back in 2009–see here, here, here, and here. Nadia Bolz Weber preached a good Ash Wednesday sermon. Rep. Paul Ryan thinks free school lunches are bad for kids’ souls. I take this a bit personally since I got free […]

Can conservatism protect your daughter?

Say what you will about conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, he certainly knows how to troll liberals. Yesterday, the Times published a column in which Douthat offers an explanation of why, as some research has apparently shown, parents who have daughters are more likely to vote Republican. Douthat sketched a post-60s sexual landscape […]

A liberal revival?

According to the New York Times, after a period when it was more fashionable to study relatively marginalized religious movements like evangelicalism and Mormonism, historians are turning their attention back to liberal mainline Protestantism. One of the more surprising arguments, made by David Hollinger, is that the legacy of the mainline may be deeper and […]

Negative liberty, positive liberty, and the second American revolution

In the afterword to his magisterial Battle Cry of Freedom (which I finished reading over Christmas), historian James McPherson says that the Civil War was a turning point between two different understandings of liberty. He distinguishes them using the terms made famous by Isaiah Berlin: “negative” liberty and “positive” liberty. Roughly, negative liberty is freedom […]

The incoherence of conservative economics

First Things‘ R.R. Reno and The American Conservative‘s Scott Galupo both have recent posts that grapple intelligently with the problems of the G.O.P’s economic message. They’re responding in part to Mitt Romney’s post-election diagnosis that President Obama won because he offered “gifts” to voters. Here’s Reno: What today’s Republican Party can’t seem to get its […]