Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw writes from Washington, D.C. Contact him at

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The complex spiritual journey of Robert Hugh Benson

It’s said that Robert Hugh Benson’s conversion to Roman Catholicism was an act of rebellion against his father, Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 until his death in 1896. Whether it was or wasn’t, the younger Benson’s spiritual autobiography at least offers grounds for seeing his conversion in that light.

Is nuclear deterrence morally acceptable?

“We are at the limit of what is licit.” In early December, Pope Francis offered that assessment of nuclear deterrence during a question-and-answer session with reporters on the plane back to Rome from Bangladesh.

Groupthink and what to do about it

As a kind of back-to-school gift to students, professors at three of the nation’s prestige schools offered them a piece of good advice: “Think for yourself.”

Learning to read Chesterton

I suppose it will be considered heresy in some quarters, but I’ve never been what you would call a fan of the writing of G.K. Chesterton. Some people can’t get enough of GKC. I can.