Articles on Humanities

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‘I want to produce such an impression of utter weariness and ennui that my readers will imagine the book could only have been written by a cretin,’ Flaubert wrote. Photo by Nadar / ullstein bild via Getty Images

We’re living in the bizarre world that Flaubert envisioned

Is a 19th-century French author’s cosmic joke turning into a real-life global nightmare?
Deaf worshippers sign a hymn while following sign language interpreter Diely Martinez at Holyrood Episcopal Church-Iglesia Santa Cruz in New York City, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. AP Photo/Emily Leshner

Deaf Christians often struggle to hear God’s word, but some find meaning in the richness of who they are

Deaf Christians can often feel excluded in churches. But the Christian contemplative tradition that celebrates silence and considers it a form of prayer can bring a new understanding of faith.
To some, White House aide Jennifer Williams and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman are impartial truth-tellers; to others, they are power-hungry bureaucrats. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

In impeachment spotlight, dueling views of professionalism appear

Public officials are now in the spotlight: Does the public view them as professionals, bound by duty, or as elites who invoke ideals while pursuing their own agendas?
Supporters of former Bolivian president Evo Morales rally with indigenous flags outside the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, Nov. 18, 2019. AP Photo/Juan Karita

Old religious tensions resurge in Bolivia after ouster of longtime indigenous president

Indigenous people, symbols and religious practices filled the halls of power in Bolivia during Evo Morales' 14-year tenure. Now a new conservative Christian leader seems to be erasing that legacy.
Hong Kong protesters shelter behind a thin barrier – and umbrellas – as police fire tear gas and encircle a group of demonstrators. AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Is there hope for a Hong Kong revolution?

Revolutions are built not on deep misery but on rising expectations. History may not provide much hope of immediate change in Hong Kong – but protesters may have a longer view.
A looted Jewish shop in Aachen, Germany on the day after Kristallnacht, Nov. 10, 1938. Wolf Gruner and Armin Nolzen (eds.). 'Bürokratien: Initiative und Effizienz,' Berlin, 2001.

The forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes during ‘Kristallnacht’

Most histories highlight the shattered storefronts and synagogues set aflame. But it was the systematic ransacking of Jewish homes that extracted the greatest toll.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg leads supporters on a march to the Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration event in Des Moines, Iowa on Nov. 1, 2019. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

How Pete Buttigieg is reviving the pragmatic, progressive ideals of the Social Gospel movement

Pete Buttigieg has said that Christianity teaches 'skepticism of the wealthy and the powerful and the established.' These ideals are similar to those espoused by a Midwestern Social Gospel movement.
The Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, California on Oct. 31. AP/Noah Berger

California is living America’s dystopian future

'California is America fast-forward,' writes one scholar. Does that mean that the dystopian infernos that have consumed parts of the state are simply a picture of what awaits the rest of America?

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