Notre Dame: What Should Be Done?

In the wake of the tragic burning of the world-famous 800-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral, opinions on what should be done with the building vary greatly. The toppled steeple, destroyed beams, collapsed roof, and general rubble caused by the fire leave the options for renovations wide open. With currently over a billion dollars in restoration funds available, money appears to be no obstacle.

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Charles Ives, an American Composer

Inspired by German Romanticism, transcendentalism had its roots in the writings of Immanuel Kant. Hoping to see beyond the surface of things, transcendentalists ultimately rejected all things European, shed the stilted confines of the 19th-century Unitarian Church, and eschewed the cold, calculating gaze of the Enlightenment. It was a refreshing way of moving forward intellectually, spiritually, and artistically in the New World.

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Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Southern Society, and the Sectional Divide

In Within the Plantation Household: Black & White Women of the Old South, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese argues that women in the Old South differed fundamentally from their Northern counterparts. Unlike women in the North, Southern women lived in a household that remained at the center of economic production. Accordingly, they lacked a separate private sphere and were perpetually subject to masculine influence. Fox-Genovese’s conception of the Southern household, as distinct from the Northern home, helps to explain the evolution of the South’s slave society and provides an explanation for distinctly Southern cultural mores that reinforced and exacerbated the divide between the regions.

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The Future of Syria in the Wake of U.S. Withdrawal

The United States has had a long, varied approach to the crisis in Syria. Red lines have been drawn and ignored, missile strikes became commonplace, troops entered the region. Now it appears that we are leaving Syria. Contradictions and failed promises marked our time there. But even with the country’s chaotic recent past, it is unwise for the U.S. to leave Syria under Russian influence and the leadership of Bashar al-Assad.  

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A Dickensian Curative

In the fall of 1843, Charles Dickens walked the empty streets of London late at night wrestling with the question: Are there answers to humanity’s indifference, negligence and lack of charity? Is there solace to be found in a holiday tale? From those solitary walks, sometimes ten to twenty miles at a time, the idea for a story grew and blossomed. Dickens completed A Christmas Carol in six weeks and published it on December 17, 1843. The first edition sold out in three days. A Christmas Carol had touched a nerve. It was an otherworldly remedy for a world-weary age, and an unsettling admonition to those who neglected the poor and destitute. It was his tribute to the “Spirits of Christmas,” and it served as a counterbalance and restorative measure against societal apathy and community disconnect. Dickens did not call for a government solution to poverty, a new program, or a symposium. He asked his readers to change how they interacted with their fellow voyagers, to be a kinder, more generous, and better version of themselves.

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Incomplete Reporting and Covington Catholic

On January 18, a short video showing a smiling white teenager in a Make America Great Again hat standing face-to-face with an elderly Native American banging a drum, while a number of other white teenagers stood behind them, was widely shared on social media and reported on by media outlets. The event, known as the Covington Catholic incident for the high school these teens attended, has added fuel to the long-running national debate about the integrity of our news media.

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