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Mitchell Kalpakgian

Mitchell Kalpakgian
Dr. Mitchell A. Kalpakgian (1941-2018) was a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative and was Professor of English at Simpson College (Iowa) for thirty-one years. During his academic career, he received many academic honors, among them the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Fellowship (Brown University, 1981); the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship (University of Kansas, 1985); and an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on Children's Literature.
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The planting of trees in the orchard—the passing down of tradition, of the moral wisdom of the past, of the torch of life, and of the beauty of life’s simplest but richest and pleasures—produces the great harvest of joy that culminates in the final chapters of the...
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In the Victorian Age, the spirit of the times caused a crisis of faith in the conflict between science and religion reflected in the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson and Matthew Arnold. Darwin’s
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Jane Austen’s heroines live, choose, and marry according to the highest wisdom about love that is ruled by principle, not convention—by the prudent mind, pure heart, and informed conscience rather than by the false prudence of the world preoccupied by money, image, lust, or self-interest...
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In Samuel Johnson's novel Rasselas, the eponymous character discovers that happiness does not derive from a beautiful place, luxurious palace, or constant entertainment, but depends upon a composed state of mind in possession of truth... Throughout the...
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Despite the number of times the witches repeat “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” Macbeth testifies to the objectivity of natural law and universal knowledge of good and evil known to conscience and written on the heart and mind of all persons...
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Chaucer’s satire on innovative theories of marriage and the heresy of courtly love validates the wisdom of the Church’s teaching on hierarchy, fidelity, and indissolubility... The great books or classics of Western civilization reflect the enduring ideals...
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Social visits are done for their own sake, for disinterested reasons, for the pleasure of others, and as a gracious act of thoughtfulness that dignifies both the visitor and the visited... In the novels of Louisa May...
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In Natalie Fenollera Sanmartin’s bestseller The Awakening of Miss Prim, Miss Prudencia Prim has accepted a position as a gentleman’s personal librarian in the small village of San Ireneo. In the course of the several months she...
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The beautification of life, the highest “household art” of making people happy and places pretty, also encompasses the adornment of the soul. Because life is more than work, economics, and money, the life of the heart and spirit need constant replenishment...

In his narrow pursuit of one ruling idea, the fanatic ignores the greater world surrounding him and blinds himself to the rest of reality... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Mitchell Kalpakgian as he explores the nature of...
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Without a natural order on which to build, the religious order has no solid foundation on which to teach charity, enrich culture, or refine civilization. Without the cardinal virtues in place, the theological virtues will not follow...

Many of Flannery O'Connor's stories portray the ineptness of men to uphold traditional ideals of manhood. The men show no leadership, they do not protect or care for their family members, they lack all manner of chivalry,...

A fanatic is a person obsessed with one idea, a monomaniac ruled by one dominant compulsion that governs all his thoughts and actions. He is enslaved by one predominant passion that dictates all his motives and decisions. Ruled by...
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“The Child is father of the Man,” wrote William Wordsworth, marveling at the enchantment of the child’s early experience and delight in play. The formative period of childhood cultivates in the young a love of life,...