This weekend on the Dish, Andrew talked testosterone, cast a skeptical glance at American interventions abroad, offered an update on the Obama-as-liberal-Reagan thread, ruminated on Christianity’s non-violent core, and reminded readers about the reasons for Dish independence.
We also provided our typical mix of religious, books, and cultural coverage. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Gary Gutting defended faith without knowledge, Christian Wiman meditated on suffering, and Karen Swallow Prior reframed the debate about the decline of the religious novel. Peter Berger considered the reasons for the culture wars, Morgan Meis complicated what it means to be a Luddite, Alice Gregory panned a new book about friendship, and Lisa Guenther taught Plato to death-row inmates.
In literary and arts coverage, Natalie Shapero turned to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town to understand the writer’s love life, scientists found that we hear even while reading silently, and J.L. Wall feared the death of the bookstore would limit exposure to the classics. An animated grammar lesson taught us about the proper use of possessives, John Walsh argued that the intersection of romance and class distinctions was part of Pride and Prejudice‘s appeal, and Gordon Marsden hailed Burke and Orwell as prophets. Tim Parks made a paradoxical case for the grammar police, Freya Johnston mused on the source of English sadness, and Johnny Cash sang for prison reform. Molly Erman test-drove Instagram as a dating service, John J. Ross recountedthe medical lives of our favorite writers, and Mark O’Connell explored the art of the epic fail. Read Saturday’s poem here and Sunday’s here.
In assorted news and views, Christopher Benfey investigated our complicated relationship to wolves, Nathaniel Rich reported on the physical toll depth-diving takes on humans, and Ed Glaeser outlined the GOP’s urban problem. Christopher Jobson noticed a philanthropic forger, Gary Wills reflected on the self-defeating South, and Jennifer Senior unpacked the science behind high school madness. Melissa Gira Grant tore into our shameful war on prostitution, Steve Martin downplayed the chances of the opium’s resurgence, Soraya Roberts related the difficulties of being a non-drinker, and James Hamblin explained why you might want to skip that nightcap.