About Michael De Sapio

Michael De Sapio is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A writer and classical musician from Alexandria, Virginia, he attended The Catholic University of America and The Peabody Conservatory of Music. He writes Great Books study guides for the educational online resource SuperSummary, and his essays on religious and aesthetic topics have been featured in Fanfare and Touchstone, among other publications.

Celebrating the Music of Igor Stravinsky

By |2021-06-16T17:42:57-05:00June 16th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Igor Stravinsky, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

For the explosive energy and power of his music, and its exploring of unheard-of worlds of sound, Igor Stravinsky was the main figure in 20th-century music. Many of us are affected by the ethos of his music whether we are aware of it or not. Its confidence, sharpness, clarity, precision, and lack of sentimentality are [...]

The Importance of the Ascension

By |2021-04-28T15:57:56-05:00May 12th, 2021|Categories: Books, Christianity, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Theology|

The theological study, “The Ascension of Christ,” shows us why the ascension is an important and necessary mystery of Christianity: It is the link between Christ’s resurrection and his second coming. It marked a new beginning, opened a new era, and drove the future course of history. The Ascension of Christ: Recovering a Neglected Doctrine, [...]

The Beauty of Christian “Folly”

By |2021-05-09T05:53:09-05:00May 8th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Erasmus, Humor, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

The Christian worldview can be characterized as fundamentally comic. This is not simply because the Christian “narrative” starts in sin and ends in salvation, reflecting the ancient definition of comedy. The Christian attitude toward the world also makes him receptive toward and perceptive of humor, because he realizes that nothing in the world is ultimately [...]

Listening to the Bible With David Suchet

By |2021-05-01T21:32:47-05:00May 1st, 2021|Categories: Beauty, Christian Living, Christianity, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

In hearing the Bible read, the Word takes flesh before us and changes the souls of those who hear it. David Suchet’s delivery in his audiobook version combines force and gentleness. Never do you sense that he is simply doing a celebrity gig, or offering the Bible as a literary monument; he truly believes in [...]

Music in the Life of Thomas Jefferson

By |2021-04-12T18:33:25-05:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

Music held a notable place within Thomas Jefferson's cultured and humanistic life—a point reinforced by his insistence on having music instruction at his newly founded University of Virginia. This shows the importance Jefferson placed on music in the life of the mind, just as his involvement with music throughout his life enhances his image as [...]

Faith, Reason, and Eternal Happiness

By |2021-04-02T15:04:16-05:00April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Faith, Michael De Sapio, Reason, Senior Contributors, St. Thomas Aquinas|

In “Theology: Mythos or Logos?” John Médaille accuses Thomas Aquinas of posing a quarrel between faith and reason, a separation that has had baleful consequences in Western culture. However, the problem that troubles Mr. Médaille appears not to be a problem if we examine the text of the “Summa” more closely. In a previous essay [...]

What Does Music Express?

By |2021-03-04T16:10:52-06:00March 4th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Music is a constant part of our lives, yet its nature remains elusive. We tend to take music for granted, like any product or commodity, not realizing what a strange phenomenon and unusual gift it is. Aristotle acknowledged as much: “It is not easy to determine the nature of music or why anyone should have [...]

Art and Grace: St. Fra Angelico

By |2021-02-15T13:03:08-06:00February 17th, 2021|Categories: Art, Christianity, Culture|

Fra Angelico’s art, like his personality, is poised between the charm and grace of the Gothic and the realistic spirit of the Renaissance. That’s why he is the best model for the Christian artist, indeed any artist who is guided by higher principles and universal truth. The Annunciation One of the recurring themes [...]

Is Christianity a Story?

By |2021-02-01T20:41:07-06:00February 2nd, 2021|Categories: Books, Christianity, Faith, Michael De Sapio, Myth, Reason, Senior Contributors, Theology|

If we accept that Christianity is a story, emphasize the primacy of faith, and deemphasize historical testimony, are we not merely reduced to telling our different stories, without being able to point to anything as having compelling objective truth? The mythopoetic appeal of Christianity is strong and valid. Yet there has to be something that [...]

The Fine Art of the Essay

By |2021-01-13T15:01:11-06:00January 13th, 2021|Categories: Books, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Writing|

Joseph Epstein’s life and writing exemplify the ideal essay writer’s tendency to be a humane generalist rather than an academic specialist. Aiming at well-roundedness, the essayist also becomes freed from vogue words and jargon, a bad influence against which Mr. Epstein campaigns vigorously and wittily in “Gallimaufry: A Collection of Essays, Reviews, Bits.” Gallimaufry: A [...]

Modernity, Art, and Liturgy

By |2021-01-02T17:00:22-06:00January 2nd, 2021|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Senior Contributors|

One of the useful things Stephen Schloesser's "Jazz Age Catholicism" does us is to remind us that the church and the world are not hermetically sealed off from one other; things that happen in the church are very often related to what is happening in the world. Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris, [...]

What Does It Mean to Be a Person of Culture?

By |2021-04-25T17:28:27-05:00January 1st, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Liberal Learning, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

True culture is a liberation from the ephemeral, a journey toward permanence and value. A cultured life, therefore, consists in more than just piling up facts; it must include reflecting on the meaning of man’s works—especially those works which have stood the test time—and how they fit into the larger scheme of reality. Attempts to [...]

“The Trial at Rouen”: An Opera on St. Joan of Arc

By |2021-05-16T04:31:10-05:00December 22nd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Opera, Senior Contributors|

The mid-twentieth-century opera, “The Trial at Rouen,” tells the story of the final days of St. Joan of Arc, her imprisonment, and trial for heresy. Composer Norman Dello Joio employs themes of conscience, belief, and spiritual motivation; he makes us think about the consequences of institutional corruption and the power of individuals to rise above [...]

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