We used to know ourselves by looking to what was most familiar—to our bodies, families, customs, and traditions. Who we were was tied to place, a community of relations whose bearings remained fixed and stable. Today, such embeddedness is intolerable. Identity is something we create, something we express while compelling the recognition of others. Yet, our new “fluid” selves have yielded only homelessness, an existence without roots in either place or person. This three-part series begins with a closer examination of the concept of identity, its historical transformation and fragility in a modern age. The second issue in the series takes up the theme of tradition (and Tradition) and is followed by a final issue on man’s political nature, with an emphasis on both the common good and questions of religious freedom.