Bradley J. Birzer

About Bradley J. Birzer

Bradley J. Birzer is the co-founder of, and Senior Contributor at, The Imaginative Conservative. He is the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in History at Hillsdale College and Fellow of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Dr. Birzer is author of In Defense of Andrew Jackson (Regnery, 2018), Russell Kirk: American Conservative, American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll, Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth, co-editor of The American Democrat and Other Political Writings by James Fenimore Cooper, and co-author of The American West.

Behold the Demon: Nietzsche as Destroyer

By |2019-03-15T21:01:56-05:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, History, Modernity, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Friedrich Nietzche’s Ecce Homo lays waste to centuries of an ethic of inhibition and restraint. Intellectually brutalized, bloodied, and tortured, the nineteenth-century philosopher presented himself in his final and last words to a world he wanted to overthrow. Behold the man. To be more accurate, behold the demon. In his mockingly titled autobiography and final published [...]

Conflicted But Redeemed: James Como’s Life of C.S Lewis

By |2019-03-11T23:38:21-05:00March 11th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Character, Senior Contributors|

James Como’s C.S Lewis: A Very Short Introduction is delightful and is the single finest biographical survey yet written on the Oxford don. In a little more than one hundred pages, you’ll happily come to know the complexities of the most famous convert to Christianity in the twentieth century. C.S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction, [...]

On Loving Bookstores

By |2019-03-04T16:02:17-05:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bookstore, Bradley J. Birzer, Literature, Love, Senior Contributors|

Growing up in a small but well-to-do Kansas town, I had access to several local bookshops—used and new—in grade school. Every bookstore offered joys, mysteries, and delights. Rarely have I walked into one and not found some kind of treasure. A few weeks ago, while lecturing for a Hillsdale College event in Boise, Idaho, [...]

On Loving Writing

By |2019-03-01T16:12:44-05:00March 1st, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Love, Senior Contributors, Writing|

Few things in life have given me as much pleasure as writing has. I’ve never been what anyone would describe as “low-energy,” but I’ve also not always been exactly sure how to release my own energies, especially when it came to writing. I’ve also always possessed the creative impulse, but that impulse was frustrated [...]

Surprised by Jack

By |2019-02-26T20:44:19-05:00February 25th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Character, Christianity, Literature, Senior Contributors|

C.S. Lewis’s writings are endlessly fascinating because the man himself was endlessly fascinating—to himself as well as to others. He saw life as a sort of drama and art, one in which the will shapes what Providence has so generously provided. One can readily and happily delve into C.S. Lewis’s autobiography of 1955, Surprised [...]

On Loving Definitions

By |2019-02-18T22:11:33-05:00February 18th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Education, Senior Contributors, Tradition, Western Tradition|

I first came across Russell Kirk’s belief that academics must serve as guardians of “the Word” in his groundbreaking but now sadly-neglected book, Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition (1955). “The principle support to academic freedom, in the classical world, the medieval world, and the American educational tradition, has been the conviction, among scholars and [...]

Christopher Dawson and Time

By |2019-02-08T15:20:34-05:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Christopher Dawson Series by Bradley Birzer, History, Senior Contributors, Time|

Christopher Dawson believed that history, far from being cyclical, was instead a particular manifestation of God’s will, and thus was “moving towards a great consummation, the revelation of the power and glory of Yahweh through his servant Israel”… As noted in previous essays in this series, Christopher Dawson (1889-1970), one of the greatest of [...]

Christopher Dawson and the Nature of Progress

By |2019-02-04T22:38:27-05:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christopher Dawson, Christopher Dawson Series by Bradley Birzer, Heaven, History, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

An understanding of progress and its adherents was not just of academic curiosity to Christopher Dawson. It was central to understanding the good life and preventing those who misunderstood history from gaining control and imposing the will of man upon the creation of God… “What has happened will happen again, and what has been [...]

Being Christopher Dawson’s Friend

By |2019-02-04T22:39:36-05:00January 16th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christopher Dawson, Christopher Dawson Series by Bradley Birzer, Senior Contributors|

Despite all Christopher Dawson’s quirks and social fears, friends flocked to him; together, they read poetry, discussed philosophy, farmed, and made crafts. Would there have been a European renaissance of Christian Humanism without this friendship centered around “Tiger Dawson”? Almost certainly not… Though he might very well have been the most important Christian Humanist intellectual [...]

Conversations on Christian Humanism

By |2019-01-06T13:39:27-05:00January 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Liberal Learning|

Christians, in alliance with believing Jews and even virtuous pagans, must sanctify the world through the Grace of God. For men of good will to fight amongst themselves squanders precious time and resources, and it leaves the field to the Enemy... As I noted in my previous essay on Christian Humanism, Gleaves Whitney first introduced me—at least [...]