The National Catholic Review

Culture

July 2014

  • July 8, 2014

    The great trinity of major postwar German artists is generally reckoned to include Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Sigmar Polke, who all wound up studying at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where Joseph Beuys was the presiding shamanistic presence. The three might well be named elegance, agony and experiment.

  • July 8, 2014

    While scholarly literature about the Holocaust is vast and continually expanding, writings about the members (admittedly very few in number) of the resistance are still quite rare. Men and women familiar to scholars, like Gertrud Luckner, John M. Oesterreicher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri de Lubac are often viewed as isolated heroes, presciently calling into the void alone.

  • July 8, 2014

    One of the many expressions of the “Francis effect” is the renewed prominence of “mercy.” Pope Francis, of course, is not the first pope to speak of mercy in the context of God’s relationship with humanity, but it is certainly his signature tune—the word occurs more than 30 times in “The Joy of the Gospel.”

  • July 8, 2014

    We know for sure that someone is permanently relevant when his or her name becomes an adjective. In the week—last week of March 2014—I finished the most recent of the very many intellectual biographies of George Orwell, his adjectived name appeared twice in Brooklyn (in our diocesan newspaper and in the Playbill for a performance of “King Lear” at the newly completed Polanski Shakespeare Center), as well as in a New York Times op-ed essay. In this respect at least, Brooklyn could be anywhere in the Anglo-Saxon-influenced world.

  • July 1, 2014

     A lot is wrong with higher education in America but plenty more is right. If its economic problems can be dealt with, there’s reason to be optimistic about the future. Only time will tell. That’s the take-away from Ivory Tower, an informative if somewhat complacent documentary by director Andrew Rossi ("Page One: Inside the New York Times").