David Deavel

About David Deavel

David Deavel is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative, editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, and Visiting Professor at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). He holds a PhD in theology from Fordham and is a winner of the Acton Institute’s Novak Award. His book, Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West, co-edited with Jessica Hooten Wilson, is forthcoming from Notre Dame Press. Besides his academic publications, Dr. Deavel's writing has appeared in many journals, including Catholic World Report, First Things, National Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

Messing About in Boats: Frederick Buechner’s “Brendan”

By |2020-05-20T15:58:05-05:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, David Deavel, Fiction, Literature, Senior Contributors|

The Saint Brendan of Frederick Buechner’s novel is like all the saints who learn that the greatest journey is one that leads from the glorious but seed-like natural energy and strength of youth, to the final flowering of spiritual life and power that are only attained through prayer, surrender, and many crosses. For Roman [...]

Liberal Arts Pandemiology

By |2020-05-12T22:13:57-05:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Culture, David Deavel, Economics, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Those of us who bemoan the “death of the liberal arts” do not do so simply because the jobs of professors are at stake, but because we believe that liberal learning is the only fit preparation for any portion of life—especially one that involves responsibility for the common good. Those of us who have [...]

Is Online University Education Possible?

By |2020-05-07T12:04:45-05:00May 6th, 2020|Categories: Culture, David Deavel, Education, Modernity, Senior Contributors|

Does online education mean the end of universities? Or, if pursued with an understanding of its limits and of the necessity of a non-virtual community of learning behind it, could online learning be part of the idea of a university? Is there anything better for a teacher than watching one’s students do great things? [...]

A Child’s Imaginative Conservative: Tomie dePaola, 1934-2020

By |2020-05-01T23:22:57-05:00May 1st, 2020|Categories: Books, David Deavel, Imagination, Senior Contributors|

Tomie dePaola understood that life is difficult and yet redemption is possible. What marks him out ultimately as a conservative of the imaginative variety is that his understanding of childhood includes not only the child-protagonist’s sense of self, but also the sense of self of the other children and indeed the adults in the [...]

For the Sake of Its Health, Let’s Get This Country Moving!

By |2020-04-17T10:01:47-05:00April 13th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Donald Trump, Economics, Government, Labor/Work, Politics, Senior Contributors|

My initial skepticism about the way in which we have dealt with this real but exaggerated threat has only grown. In fact, the lockdowns and the shuttering of our medical and economic system have now become a greater threat than the disease itself. After my essay on conservative skepticism about both the severity of [...]

Sex and the Cancerous Married Girl

By |2020-04-03T12:05:30-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Christian Living, Christianity, Culture, David Deavel, Marriage, Senior Contributors|

Some articles must be published at one time and not another, either because their stories are simply of the moment or because circumstances reveal them to be impossible for the moment. “‘Dying for Sex’ podcast follows terminal cancer patient’s wild sexcapades” is one of them. Published in the New York Post on March 4, [...]

Conservative Skepticism and the Pandemic

By |2020-03-27T17:31:51-05:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Economics, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Conservatives tend to be skeptical about the doom-and-gloom scenarios that are being presented as absolute certainties unless the country as a whole is essentially shut down for months. Many have called us “deniers” or accused us of valuing money over human life. But I believe that this skepticism is both eminently reasonable and will [...]

The Divine Discontent of the Atheist Heart

By |2020-03-14T16:21:51-05:00March 14th, 2020|Categories: Atheism, Christianity, Culture, David Deavel, Religion, Senior Contributors|

Like all human beings, the atheist ones I’ve seen and known are always prattling on about justice and injustice. But atheists don’t seem to realize that there is such a category as “should” because there is a design for the world that we perceive. Atheists do not believe in God, but I confess that [...]

The Real Season of Giving

By |2020-02-26T16:17:05-06:00February 25th, 2020|Categories: Christian Living, Christianity, Culture, David Deavel, Lent, Senior Contributors|

The way to preach the greatness of what Christians call Lent is to preach the demanding side of it. Tell those around you to give things up until it hurts a bit, till they feel an ache inside that they now can’t pretend to fill with double-stuffed Oreos and beers and binge-watched television series. [...]

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words

By |2020-02-07T16:13:15-06:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, David Deavel, Film, Politics, Senior Contributors, Supreme Court|

One of the best contemporary memoirs I’ve read in the last decade is My Grandfather’s Son, which was published in 2007. In his tale that ended with the fierce 1991 confirmation battle for his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas told a remarkable story of his journey from being raised by a [...]

Thinking Progressively by Acting Conservatively

By |2020-02-03T16:45:37-06:00February 3rd, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, David Deavel, Education, Equality, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

My progressive friends assure me that they are looking out for children, minorities, and especially minority children. The problem with this conceit is that when it comes to closing the achievement gap between Latino and white children on the one hand, and black and white children on the other, the only progressive cities are [...]