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Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.
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Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of "The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt" (Thomas Nelson, 2012).

Entries by Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Saints and the Secular Republic

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 5:43 PM

Throngs of people gathered last week in Sorrento's Piazza Tasso for what might be called a faith-based fireworks display. Hundreds of rockets and roman candles were shot from the roof of the sanctuary of the Chiesa del Carmine, a church that dates back to the middle of the third century...

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Iraq and the Freedom Deficit in Islam

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 5:31 PM

The startling success of Islamist extremists in seizing major cities in Iraq and threatening the government in Baghdad has many causes, but none more important than this: the failure of modern Islam to reconcile its deepest beliefs with the principle of religious freedom. Much of the violence that has engulfed...

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Poland, Obama, and the Reagan Doctrine

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 12:17 PM

Perhaps the most important remark in President Obama's speech in Poland this week, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of its democratic revolution, was the least noticed by commentators. "The victory of 1989," Mr. Obama said, "was not inevitable."

It is a truism, however, that does not seem to penetrate the thinking...

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Obama's Machiavellian Moment

(3) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 3:47 PM

President Obama's plan to launch a military strike against Syria because of its deadly use of chemical weapons signals a moment of both clarity and contradiction.

Mr. Obama came to office vowing that the United States would not act "unilaterally" and without United Nations support --...

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A Deadly Gunman vs. the Faith of Antoinette Tuff

(23) Comments | Posted August 25, 2013 | 2:12 PM

We may never fully understand how it was that Antoinette Tuff persuaded an emotionally troubled young man, who appeared at her elementary school outside of Atlanta armed with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, to lay down his weapon and surrender to police. Her remarkable story of...

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Anti-Americanism and the Funeral of a Great Myth

(3) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 2:38 PM

Remember when anti-Americanism was all the rage?

Throughout most of the Bush administration, opinion pollsters relentlessly tracked America's plummeting approval ratings across the planet. We were hated because of George Bush's "unilateralism," the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, America's alliance with Israel, our double standards about promoting democratic values,...

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Jesus and the Zealotry of Reza Aslan

(24) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 10:55 AM

Historian Jaroslav Pelikan began his insightful book, Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture, with these provocative words: "Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty...

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Democratic Delusions

(1) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 11:04 AM

The contrast between political rhetoric and everyday reality is often stark, even in democracies, where politicians are free to speak the truth about the ills facing their societies. But the discontinuity seems greatest in the Islamic world, where religious dogmas and delusions thrive, and nowhere greater than in Pakistan.


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What Tocqueville Would Tell Egypt's Muslim Brotherhhood

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 8:44 AM

In the 1830s a young French intellectual, Alexis de Tocqueville, travelled to the United States determined to learn what a great republic looked like.

One feature that struck him powerfully was the cultural habit of ordinary Americans to join together in civil society to confront social and political evils....

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The Obama Doctrine and the Judgment of History

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 12:48 PM

"With a decade of experience to draw from, now is the time to ask ourselves hard questions -- about the nature of today's threats, and how we should confront them," explained President Obama in the first major foreign policy speech of his second term in office. "A perpetual war ......

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An Easter Message for Muslims

(5) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 12:18 PM

One of the great themes of the Christian Easter story is that the love of God can overcome the worst of human folly, wickedness, weakness -- even death itself. This idea, if taken seriously, would be a tonic in many parts of the world today, but perhaps nowhere is it...

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Cicero and the State of the Union

(17) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 2:11 PM

President Obama likes to refer to himself as a "student of history." As he prepares his State of the Union Address, he might bear in mind the history of another great republic: Rome. Its decline was anticipated by Marcus Tillius Cicero, one of Rome's greatest statesmen. Cicero delivered a speech...

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A Subversive Appeal for Religious Reform

(4) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 1:34 PM

On the eve of the Protestant Reformation, humanist scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam published a work of satire that set off an earthquake beneath the religious establishment of medieval Europe. His book, "The Praise of Folly," published in Paris in 1512, was a masterful critique of the arrogance and pretension that...

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A Crisis of Conscience in Benghazi

(29) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 3:40 PM

The deadly terrorist attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya represents not just a failure of intelligence. It symbolizes the failure to face unpleasant truths about the hatreds unleashed by corrupted religion. Like the failure of U.S. policies in Iraq after the ouster of Saddam Hussein, it is...

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Pro-lifers, Moderates and Moral Indifference

(14) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 11:30 AM

We expect presidential elections to generate rhetoric that insults reason and reality in the service of a partisan agenda. We expect op-ed writers at liberal institutions such as the New York Times to participate in this vice. What surprises the reader, though, is the utter shamelessness of the effort --...

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Change My Mind: Should the Government Be Responsible for Caring for the Poor?

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 9:44 AM

Yes, it's the government's biblical role.

There is hardly a more controversial political battle in America today than that around the role of government. The ideological sides have lined up, and the arguments rage about the size of government: how big, how small should it be? Some famously have...

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A Poverty of Imagination

(1) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 1:30 PM

It's complicated.

Twenty years ago, in the run-up to the 1996 welfare reform law, the United States was in the thick of an argument over how to confront the issue of poverty. Back then, just about everyone agreed that billions of dollars in federal welfare spending had trapped the poor...

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