Books

The Myth of “Coequal” Branches of the Federal Government

By |2019-10-22T22:17:54-05:00October 22nd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Government, History|

The popular myth, retold almost daily by members of Congress, that the Constitution established three separate, but equal branches, of government has no basis in fact. The true intent of the Framers was for the Congress to be supreme because it is the nature of representative government that the most representative branch should be most [...]

Land Where Our Fathers Died

By |2019-10-21T13:42:23-05:00October 20th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, History|

Wilfred M. McClay’s “Land of Hope” recounts America’s history from a position of scholarly objectivity, neither embellishing America’s achievements nor hiding its shortcomings. His purpose? To tell the American story to Americans who, whether from amnesia or a simple lack of familiarity, do not know nearly enough about their past. Land of Hope: An [...]

Waiting for God in Absurd Times

By |2019-10-20T00:07:43-05:00October 19th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Modernity, Philosophy|

Whether one is an atheist or a believer, all of us can agree that there is certainly something missing in our society. By entering into a dialogue with a variety of texts, the authors of “The Terror of Existence” wrestle with the idea of meaninglessness and absurdity with the seriousness and it deserves. The [...]

How to Rediscover the Order of the Universe in a Postmodern World

By |2019-10-16T22:18:34-05:00October 16th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Books, Culture, John Horvat, Modernity, Order|

There is an order of the universe. How refreshing are these words! They cause a certain joy, especially in our days of chaos. If an order exists, then God exists who is its Creator and source. We might then exclaim with the Psalmist how all creation gives glory to God and elevates our souls [...]

“Prince Caspian” and Political Extremism

By |2019-10-15T12:21:48-05:00October 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, C.S. Lewis, Conservatism, Literature, Politics, Populism|

Those who object to globalism find themselves in a frustrating, even infuriating position, even now in the age of Brexit and Donald Trump. Three years after the 2016 votes were counted there is still no wall, Britain is still stuck in the EU, and an anonymous White House “adult in the room” has gotten [...]

Soul, World, and Idea: Interpreting Plato

By |2019-10-14T12:30:22-05:00October 14th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Phaedo, Philosophy, Plato, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

“To save the phenomena” of heavenly motions by undergirding them with rational, that is, mathematical, hypotheses—that is said to be the problem Plato set for astronomers in a passage from the “Republic” frequently referenced by Daniel Sherman. His own project is, as I understand it, the inverse one: to save the Platonic ideas by [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth

By |2019-10-12T14:11:46-05:00October 11th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Senior Contributors|

Myth, J.R.R. Tolkien thought, can convey the sort of profound truth that is intransigent to description or analysis in terms of facts and figures. But, Tolkien admitted, myth can be dangerous if it remains pagan. Therefore, one must sanctify it. As an artist, a scholar, and a mythmaker, Tolkien gave us a glimpse of [...]

Revisiting “The Return of the King”

By |2019-10-05T22:21:17-05:00October 5th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Film, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, Uncategorized|

I’ve just completed the sixteen-hour marathon, run over three consecutive Tuesday evenings at a friend’s house, watching all three extended editions of Peter Jackson’s movie magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings. I’ve already shared my impressions of watching The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers for the first time in possibly [...]

Visions of a Botanist: Explorations & Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest

By |2019-09-30T15:15:09-05:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Science, St. John's College, Western Civilization|

In Wade Davis’ “One River,” every issue that a sound-minded person most cares about is joined under a novel aspect: sanity and the way to illumination, visibility and the manifestations of the divine realm, physicality and the gateway to transcendence. One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, by Wade Davis (New [...]

A Return to Normalcy? George Babbitt’s America

By |2019-09-30T23:47:57-05:00September 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Imagination, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

For Sinclair Lewis, ”Babbitt” was a vehicle through which to explore and critique American society during the 1920s. The eponymous hero of the novel finds himself trapped in a conflict between the man he is and the man he wants to be, between the demands of society and the desires of the heart. Lewis sought [...]

Revisiting “The Fellowship of the Ring”

By |2019-10-04T12:56:45-05:00September 28th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Film, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

As I pondered the artistic license that Peter Jackson had granted himself in one of the most important scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring, I realized that a film adaptation of a literary work should not be expected to follow the literal letter of the original but should seek faithfully to [...]

“Out of the Silent Planet”: A Retrospective

By |2019-09-26T22:52:31-05:00September 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

C.S. Lewis’s “Out of the Silent Planet” presents within the envelope of science fiction a moving story that considers the complexity of human nature and its relationship with the Creator. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that Lewis’s “Space Trilogy” made science fiction respectable, elevating it from what many had perceived as [...]

From Pagan Heroism to Christian Alliance: Tolkien’s “Beowulf”

By |2019-10-05T09:54:55-05:00September 24th, 2019|Categories: Beowulf, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Great Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

J.R.R. Tolkien argued that while Christianity gave the heroes a new point upon which to focus, the enemies of the heathen gods remained, too, the enemies of the Christian God. Beowulf, by challenging all that is spawned in Hell, has, by default, become the ally of all that destined to Heaven. Inducted into the [...]

The “Eumenides” of Aeschylus: Whole-Hearted Patriotism & Moderated Modernity

By |2019-09-23T23:56:06-05:00September 23rd, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Literature, St. John's College|

Aeschylus’ Eumenides is a play about an institutional innovation and a paean to the goddess of the city. It is an account of the origin of Athens’ Supreme Court and a love poem to Athena and her people and places. This poet, however, loves for cause and with a thoughtful passion. This people, the [...]