Author Archives: Alan Jacobs

About Alan Jacobs

Alan Jacobs is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in the Honors Program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the author most recently of The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography.

The Value of Disciplinary Originalism, Revisited

How a conservative approach to jurisprudence can restrain injustice.

Scalia and Disciplinary Originalism

The late justice’s principle at its best forces us to confront the Constitution, not co-opt it.

Creativity and Constraint

Holding back can be the hardest thing for artists to do, and the most rewarding.

The Trump Litany

A liturgical rite of The Donald and his voters.

After Trump

Will the parties change in response to his rise?

Scalia’s Legacy

He identified the principle governing most contemporary justices—and fiercely opposed it.

The “Doomsday Clock”: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone

The metaphor of objectively judged imminent doom can’t be stretched to cover climate change.

The Public Intellectual as Modernist Poet

If you don’t actually have respect for the people you’re writing for, at least fake it.

The Trade-In Society

We are becoming habituated to making the nuclear option the first option.

Football Coaches and Rational Choices

Rational behavior becomes dangerous when one is surrounded by the irrational.

On Suicide and Marriage

Does caring for each other in suffering only fulfill the marital bonds within a religious framework?

On Arguments Against Religious Education

Clarifying four logically consistent and coherent theses for the opposition

Parting the Veil of Ignorance

The Wheaton College conflict cannot be abstracted away from the real humans involved

Anti-Socialist elements

Rediscovering a treasure of Polish Solidarity swag

I’m Thinking It Over

Social media takes hostages on behalf of the reactive now.


From Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings and beyond, victory does not always belong to the powerful.

Christian Education and ‘Intellectual Compromise’

Claims that secular institutions are intrinsically academically superior are unsustainable.

Dialogue on Democracy, Part 7

Many, perhaps most, of the pathologies of our current political order are products of inhuman scale.

Francis Bacon, High Noon, and the Student Protestors

There has to be a better way for people to live than the code-fetishist campus battles.

Dialogue on Democracy, Part 6

If you argue about politics long enough, you get to something deeper than politics.

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