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IN THIS ISSUE: Sep/Oct 1995

The charter issue of BOOKS & CULTURE leads off with a probing essay-review of Abraham Lincoln's religion by historian Mark Noll. Lincoln has been portrayed both as a devout Christian and as a discreet unbeliever. Noll shows that the truth is more complicated than those alternatives allow.

Also in this issue, George Marsden listens in on a conversation among Socrates, Thomas Jefferson and William Jennings Bryan. Philip Yancey considers the achievement of Annie Dillard -- a more deply Christian wirter than is generally recognized. Frederica Mathewes-Green illuminates the role of icons in Orthodox worship; David Neff interviews Chinese American poet Li-Young Lee. A forum on affirmative action offers differing perspectives from Doug Bandow, Ronald Potter, Timothy Tseng and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen.

Among the many reviews in this issue are Richard Mouw on WHY WACO? CULTS AND THE BATTLE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA, Gerald Early on Albert Raboteau's A FIRE IN THE BONES: REFLECTIONS ON AFRICAN-AMERICAN RELIGIOUS HISTORY, Robert Faggen on Harold Bloom's THE WESTERN CANON: THE BOOKS AND SCHOOL OF THE AGES, and Phillip Johnson on THE THIRD CULTURE: BEYOND THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION. Lovers of fiction should turn first to Larry Woiwode's retrospective on John Gardner, Ralph Wood's review of P.D. James's ORIGINAL SIN and John Syke's review of Anne Tyler's LADDER OF YEARS. Movies? See Rodney Clapp on magic realism's metamorphosis. For short notices, see IN BRIEF, where additional titles are reviewed.

LOOKING AHEAD: The lead article in the November/December issue of BOOKS & CULTURE will be a layperson's view of the quest for the historical Jesus, by C. Stephen Evans. And don't miss Michael Cromartie's interview with Dinesh D'Souza about D'Souza's controversial new book, THE END OF RACISM.

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