Illness and Innocence

Why do many of us feel guilty when we catch a cold or grow a tumor? Is it because so many religions depict illness as divine punishment?

Film Review: Hannah Arendt and the “Banality of Evil”

Van Trotta’s film on Arendt and “the banality of evil” not only restores memory but also might remind us of contemporary violent conflicts, including the Israeli-Palestinian one. The narratives told on both sides promote an unremitting hostility that over the past century has stymied efforts to make peace. These narratives, combining personal memory with cultural tradition, have fostered distrust and demonization of the Other. As Rabbi Michael Lerner points out, both sides “embraced nationalist rhetoric …. Both sides were traumatized by their own history, and by outrageous acts of violence perpetrated by the other.”

Art and Science: A Marriage Made in Heaven?

At the turn of the past century, Vienna—even more than Berlin, Paris, or London—stood out as the European city most friendly to radical innovation of every kind. Helping us to understand this era, which introduced the modern world that we inhabit today, is Eric Kandel’s book, The Age of Insight. Neuroscience, Kandel argues, can help to close the traditional gap between scientific and nonscientific forms of inquiry.