The Crusades happened almost a thousand years ago—why do they still provoke an argument? Osama bin Laden has used them to attempt to rally the Islamic world to his cause; President Bush has called the war on terrorism a "crusade." But what is the truth about the Crusades? Were they motivated by savage greed and intolerance or by pious idealism? Were they an unprovoked attack by the West on the Islamic world or a reaction to centuries of Islamic incursions? How should we understand the legacy of the Crusades today, in a time of conflict between the West and radical Islamic terrorists?
It may be that, as the Gilbert and Sullivan jingle has it, everybody is born a little liberal or a little conservative, but it usually takes some time before one decides for oneself which it is, followed by some more time before one decides one got it wrong the first time. Such are the shiftings and switchings experienced by the contributors to Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys...
The dean brings charges of ‘unprofessional conduct’ for a vigorous defense of free inquiry.
The spread of democracy around the world was one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, democracy was limited to a handful of Western nations, while today perhaps 120 nations have some form of democratic government. Yet among Muslim countries, democracy is rare, and among Arab states, essentially nonexistent. Why? Is the Islamic faith compatible with the essential features of a democratic society—separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and women's rights, to name a few—or not? Just what is the future of democracy in the Arab world?
For nearly a thousand years after the death of the prophet Muhammad, the Islamic world was powerful, creative, and self-confident. In science, in trade, and in the arts, Muslim civilization rivaled and often surpassed the best achievements of the European world. But beginning sometime around the seventeenth century, Islamic power and dynamism began to wane, to be eclipsed by the West. Today, by nearly every measure of social and economic development, Islamic nations fall far short of Western nations. Why? Did the historical rise and decline of Islam result from processes internal to the Muslim world or from its interaction with the West? What can and should be done to revive Islamic civilization?
Computers more intelligent than humans? Self-replicating molecular robots? Virtual immortality? These may sound like science fiction, but some reputable computer scientists are predicting they will happen within the next several decades. What will our world be like if and when our machines surpass us in intelligence? Do the advances in biotechnology, robotics, and nanotechnology, which make intelligent machines possible, pose dangers of their own? Should we embrace such a future or try to stop it?
What are the root causes of terrorism and how should we respond to them? If the discontent and hatred that breed terrorism spring from economic, political, and cultural grievances, should we address those grievances? Or does acknowledgment of these types of causes of terrorism lend a dangerous legitimacy to terrorists themselves?
The causes, the players, and the likely consequences of the Arab eruptions. A conversation with Hoover fellows Peter Berkowitz, Victor Davis Hanson, and Peter Robinson.
Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, discusses his essay “The Straussian Moment,” describing how the ancients believed in the power of the intellect and the weakness of the will, but how today we believe the opposite. We want machines to do the thinking, because we don’t trust rationality. Also, Thiel gives his overview on the current American political scene and discusses whether he will endorse President Trump in 2020.
France may have a case for banning the burqa. By Peter Berkowitz.
Professors have a professional interest in—indeed a professional duty to uphold—liberty of thought and discussion...
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Greece v. Galloway, an important case on religious liberty.
It wasn't supposed to be this way...
David Brooks, New York Times columnist and author, was the featured speaker at the opening dinner, Sunday, April 30, of the 2006 Hoover Spring Retreat.
Peter Berkowitz on A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith by John Rawls edited by Thomas Nagel
Peter Berkowitz on Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action by George Weigel
Peter Berkowitz on Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism by Ibn Warraq
Peter Berkowitz on American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, with the assistance of Shaylyn Romney Garrett.