Dwight Longenecker

About Dwight Longenecker

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A graduate of Oxford University, he is the Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Greenville, SC, and author of twenty books, including The Romance of Religion, The Quest for the Creed, and Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. He contributes to many magazines, papers, and journals, including National Catholic Register, St Austin Review, Catholic Digest, and The Stream. His latest book, Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness, is published by Sophia Institute Press. Visit his blog, listen to his podcasts, join his online courses, browse his books, and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com.

For Thine is the Kingdom: Tom Holland’s “Dominion”

By |2020-03-07T16:53:58-06:00March 7th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christendom, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, History, Religion, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Like a queen who rides a bicycle, Tom Holland’s “Dominion” is both majestic and down-to-earth. From antiquity to modernity, Mr. Holland traces a sneaky thesis that Christianity has changed the world—transforming it from the inside out. Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, by Tom Holland (624 pages, Basic Books, 2019) Every once [...]

In Defense of Dark Corners

By |2020-02-29T06:46:13-06:00February 29th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Religion, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

There are dark corners to be explored in a great church. Instead of vast seating space, bright with electric light, huge speakers hanging from the beams, and padded pews, give me the darkened chapel where ancient monks recited their daily prayers. Give me the dark corner of a crumbling cloister, the dark corner of [...]

They All Go Into the Dark: Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”

By |2020-02-07T16:05:52-06:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Senior Contributors|

Martin Scorsese is a master filmmaker. Believing a film can be an art form on a level with music, dance, and literature, the one-time seminarian director wrestles with themes of free will and the unforeseen consequences of sin in his latest work, “The Irishman.” Martin Scorsese recently criticized Hollywood’s current cash cow—the comic book [...]

Glenn Arbery’s Southern Gothic

By |2020-01-31T22:21:39-06:00January 31st, 2020|Categories: Books, Dwight Longenecker, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Glenn Arbery, in “Bearings and Distances,” uses bizarre humor, well-drawn characters, a wider landscape, and unexpected twists to expand the reach of Southern Gothic to critique more widespread contagions of modernity: the superficiality of academia, the hypocrisy of conventional religion, the sour legacy of slavery, the suffocating spiral of promiscuity, and the terror of [...]

With Bright Wings: George Weigel’s “The Irony of Modern Catholic History”

By |2020-01-25T22:11:25-06:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, History, Modernity, Religion, Senior Contributors|

The Christian Church’s ongoing struggle with modernity is unavoidable. How does a two-thousand-year-old religion, with roots even further into antiquity, adapt to a world not only technologically astonishing, but philosophically post-Christian, totally materialistic, and indifferent towards God? George Weigel answers this question in “The Irony of Modern Catholic History.” The Irony of Modern Catholic [...]

The Rise of Barbie and Rambo

By |2020-01-09T09:57:27-06:00January 9th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Culture War, Dwight Longenecker, Feminism, History, Senior Contributors|

Signs within the developing culture from the 1950s indicated, even then, a new confusion about sexual identity. From the dawn of time a man was defined as a father, or potential father. A woman was a mother, or potential mother. The whole delicate dance of courtship and sexual relationships circled around the undeniable link [...]

The Magi and the Obstinacy of Belief

By |2020-01-05T20:21:13-06:00January 5th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, History, Religion, Senior Contributors|

The refusal to consider the possibility that the Magi were historical figures and not mythical magicians reflects the bias of both modernists and conservative believers. For Saint Matthew’s Gospel to actually be true rocks both their boats. My friend Sir Colin Humphreys wrote a book some time ago called The Miracles of Exodus. Sir [...]

Prophecies, Predictions, and Prognostications

By |2019-12-29T22:54:23-06:00December 30th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

We are all fascinated by the future and imprisoned by the past—especially when “there is distress of nations and perplexity”—but we needn’t resort to occult tomfoolery or fall under the spell of a seer, preacher, or latter-day doomsday prophet. Instead the answer is to dwell in the present moment. The preachers of my Evangelical [...]

The Scandal of Christmas

By |2019-12-22T03:34:19-06:00December 21st, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Christmas, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Religion, Senior Contributors, Theology|

The Nativity is an outrage. God who is outside of time should not step into time. God the omnipotent should not become a helpless child. God the all-knowing should not empty himself and lock himself into the limitations of mortality. However, it is the incredible outrage of it all that gives one pause. After [...]

Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

By |2019-12-13T16:42:27-06:00December 7th, 2019|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Dwight Longenecker, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Puzzled by the sudden surge of identity politics, Mary Eberstadt traces its genesis to the sexual revolution. By doing so, she addresses the “primal screams” of faceless, lonely people grabbing at an identity like a shipwrecked person clutching at flotsam. Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics, by Mary Eberstadt (192 pages, [...]

Marilyn Monroe and the Mother Goddess

By |2019-11-20T12:22:52-06:00November 22nd, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors|

Marilyn Monroe was the American version of the great mother goddess—our Diana, Astarte, Ishtar, Isis. But for the pagan, the Mother Goddess stood not only for sex, but also for life, fertility, prosperity, and all things abundant. Being an American and living on the precipice of the sexual revolution, Marilyn was the icon and [...]

Return of the Small Gods?

By |2019-11-16T21:29:54-06:00November 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Dwight Longenecker, Relativism, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Rusty Reno’s recent book, Return of the Strong Gods is an excellent explanation of the roots of relativism. The short version is that two world wars left Western civilization with a huge societal case of post-traumatic stress disorder. With heads in hands, the thinkers concluded that we kill one another because of dogma. We say, [...]

Return of the Strong Gods

By |2019-11-09T22:04:01-06:00November 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Faith, Family, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Worldview|

R.R. Reno in “Return of the Strong Gods” argues that we need a return to the pillars that represent classic human values: the home, the country, and the religion. He calls for true patriotism rather than nationalism, marriage and family instead of a sexual free-for-all, and historic Christianity instead of do-it-yourself “spirituality.” Return of [...]

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