Sunday, February 14, 2016
  1. Putin, the Pope, and the Patriarch

    Nina L. Khrushcheva

    Putin, the Pope, and the Patriarch

    2

     explains why the Kremlin wants to help mend Christianity's Great Schism.

    Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis Alexei Nikolsky/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire

    The historic meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba will not only be an opportunity to heal one of the oldest divisions in Christianity. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, it will be an occasion to project his country's influence at a time when it is being battered by oil prices and sanctions. READ MORE

  2. An Unhinged Democracy in America

    Ian Buruma

    An Unhinged Democracy in America

    27

     worries that majority rule may run amok, as it has in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and Poland.

    American flag

    Democracy, in the sense of majority rule, needs restraints, just like any other system of government. In the US, as elsewhere, key traditional restraints – including religion, professional journalism, and party establishments – are falling away. READ MORE

  3. How India’s Caste System Survives

    Shashi Tharoor

    How India’s Caste System Survives

    7

     describes how a Dalit student's suicide is spurring a reckoning with a toxic social legacy.

    Memorial for Rohith Vemula Saikat Paul/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire

    India has been shaken by the suicide of a Dalit student in Hyderabad – a stark reminder of the durability of India's rigid, caste-based social stratification. Why, despite constitutional guarantees of equality and affirmative action for lower-caste Indians, have these divisions endured? READ MORE

  4. The Cow Who…

    Peter Singer

    The Cow Who…

    9

     makes the case for switching from "that" to "who" in reference to animals.

    Cattle

    In a language like English, which implicitly categorizes animals as things rather than persons, switching from "that" to "who" would embody the recognition that cows, pets, and fish are all sentient beings, unlike tables, cars, and mountains. The personal pronoun would, in short, remind us who animals really are. READ MORE

  5. Rebuilding the Muslim House of Wisdom

    Jim Al-Khalili

    Rebuilding the Muslim House of Wisdom

    7

     reflects on what Arab and other governments must do to revive the spirit of scientific inquiry.

    Man studying the Quran

    Although governments across the Muslim world are increasing their science budgets sharply, throwing money at the problem is no panacea. The entire research environment needs to be addressed, particularly the need to nurture the intellectual freedom and skepticism on which scientific progress depends. READ MORE

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