Magazine October 4, 2010, Issue

Laws of Thought

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Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law, by Hadley Arkes (Cambridge, 280 pp., $25.99)

On entering the Catholic Church earlier this year, Hadley Arkes explained that he had become convinced that the Church was fundamentally a truth-telling institution. He arrived at this judgment after repeatedly seeing the Church act as the lone voice of reason defending unpopular moral truths in an age of relativism. From his academic perch, Arkes, too, has defended these moral truths, casting doubt on the claims of some overly excitable commentators that the defense of life or the protection of marriage is the work of “Christianists,” “theocons,” or other Bible-thumping theocrats. Arkes’s latest book, written well before his baptism, shows

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