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Singularly Ambiguous

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

SAMUEL Johnson, the great eighteenth-century critic, moralist, and wit, once said of the American revolutionaries: “How is it that the loudest yelps for liberty come from the holders of slaves?” I don’t know what Johnson’s friend, Edmund Burke—a proponent of American independence—said in response to this, but I rather hope it was: “Touché.” While I…

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Current Event

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

HE SAID he never intended to found anything, and I believe him. But he had a gift for friendship. When his funeral mass was celebrated in Milan last month, thirty thousand of his companions were there. The principal celebrant, Cardinal Ratzinger, delivered a message from another friend, Karol Wojtyla. It may be a truism to…

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Poetic Justice

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

The following is adapted from an address given at the Wild Goose Festival in Corvallis, Oregon, on September 1, 2012. BEFORE I CAME DOWN here to deliver this talk on how art and social justice should—and shouldn’t—mix, I posted on Facebook that I was preparing by reading the works of various writers. One commenter singled…

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Ex Nihilo, Then Us

By Robert McNamara Poetry

From nothing God made everything, they said. Nothing plus God is nothing we said. But with something to work with, look what we’ve done. God said, you’d better and you’d better not, they said. And sometimes it looks like you have when you shouldn’t. Eyewash, we said, it’s just how we are, honeyed self-interest in…

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