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John Henry Newman

“God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.”

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We address a wide variety of major issues including: What is the essence of conservatism? What was the role of faith in the American Founding? Is liberal learning still possible in the modern academy? Should conservatives and libertarians be allies? What is the proper role for the American Republic in spreading ordered liberty to other cultures/nations?

We have a great appreciation for the thought of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Irving Babbitt and Christopher Dawson, among other imaginative conservatives. However, some of us look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.”

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2 replies to this post
  1. With a lack of specific directions from God, I believe we are already doing at least part of what he wants, as this post seems to conclude. I must learn to be okay with not knowing more. Thanks for the post.

  2. … Say what one will, there was something in Newman’s conversion of failure in duty, a betrayal of the will. In succumbing to an authority which promised to allay the anguish of his intellect, he rejected the great mission of faith, and committed what may almost be called the gran rifiuto. In the agony of his conversion and in his years of poignant dejection there is something of the note of modern romanticism intruding into religion. His inability to find peace without the assurance of a personal God answering to the clamour of his desires is but another aspect of that illusion of the soul which has lost its vision of the true infinite and seeks a substitute in the limitless expansion of the emotions. It has happened to me sometimes, while reflecting on Newman clothed in the cardinal and crowned with ecclesiastical honours, that, as by a trick of the imagination, I have been carried back to the vast hall to which Vathek came at the end of his journey, and that, looking intently and reverently at the sublime figure on his throne, I have “discerned through his bosom, which was transparent as crystal, his heart enveloped in flames.” I have turned away in sadness and awe from the face of one who had perhaps the finest religious nature of the age, yet failed his country at her hour of greatest need.
    Paul Elmer More

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