Is “Christian Humanism” Gone Forever?

By |2021-02-11T13:00:07-06:00February 11th, 2021|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In his book “The Year of Our Lord 1943,” writing on Christian humanism, Alan Jacobs considers the fears and desires of five major but seemingly disparate figures in 1943 as they envision a post-war world after an allied victory: W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Jacques Maritain, and Simone Weil. The Year of Our Lord [...]

Bernard Bailyn at Last: Illuminating History

By |2021-02-10T10:52:58-06:00February 10th, 2021|Categories: Books, History|

Bernard Bailyn challenges card-carrying historians and interested citizens alike to embrace intellectual humility and amiability at a time when public discourse has taken a decisive turn away from such virtues. This challenge is evident in Bailyn’s final work, “Illuminating History.” Bernard Bailyn The American historian Bernard Bailyn, who died of heart failure at [...]

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 [...]

A Civilizational Foreign Policy

By |2021-01-28T23:43:57-06:00January 31st, 2021|Categories: American Republic, Books, Foreign Affairs, Politics, Western Civilization|

In “The Abandonment of the West,” Michael Kimmage focuses on the role of the West in America’s approach to the world. Beyond his historical argument, he believes that the idea of the West requires rehabilitation as an underlying motif of American foreign policy, both to resist authoritarianism abroad and to foster greater unity domestically. The [...]

Renewing the Clash & Combination of Western Education

By |2021-01-28T22:55:19-06:00January 28th, 2021|Categories: Books, Culture, David Deavel, Education, History, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

“The Heart of Culture” traces the success of Western education, rooted in the very nature of Western civilization as a historical “clash and combination” of Greek culture and Judeo-Christian religion. It is the perfect book for parents, teachers, and administrators who are dissatisfied with modern education but don’t know why. The Heart of Culture: A [...]

Rod Dreher and The Nostalgia Option

By |2021-01-23T19:01:56-06:00January 23rd, 2021|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Politics, Senior Contributors|

As techno-totalitarianism really gets into gear, it is up to each one of us to root our lives, our homes, our schools, and our parishes in the eternal values of the Christian faith and classical learning—and we need to do so with imagination and realism, avoiding the temptation to become nostalgic dreamers. Live Not by [...]

Four Roads to Rome

By |2021-01-21T15:11:41-06:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Flannery O'Connor, Literature|

In “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” Paul Elie weaves together the historically parallel stories of Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor. Truly these were four of the last century’s most remarkable Catholic writers. The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage, by Paul Elie (554 pages, [...]

The Astounding Transformation of Stonewall Jackson

By |2021-01-21T12:20:44-06:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Books, Civil War, Quotation|

As an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute, Thomas Jonathan Jackson was a poor professor, given to memorizing his lectures and delivering them in a monotone voice to his classes, word-for-word. His students teased him behind his back and fired spitballs at each other during classes, with little fear of their wooden, seemingly hapless teacher. [...]

How Liberals Turned Freedom Into Tyranny

By |2021-01-17T11:23:58-06:00January 17th, 2021|Categories: Books, Freedom, John Horvat|

Ryszard Legutko’s “The Cunning of Freedom” pierces through the darkness of today’s shallow notions of freedom and exposes the dangers of continuing on the present course. The author indicates a metaphysical path whereby postmodern man might find that truth that will set him free. The Cunning of Freedom: Saving the Self in an Age of [...]

The Crisis of Liberalism

By |2021-01-17T01:04:36-06:00January 16th, 2021|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Liberalism|

Today’s Democratic party is not the party of Joe Biden’s youth or middle age. As author Fred Siegel correctly observes, it is a top-bottom coalition of the well-credentialed (but not well-educated) upper-middle class and beyond, plus those who work for, depend upon, or otherwise presume to shelter under the benevolent arm of government. The Crisis [...]

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 [...]

Garrison Keillor’s “That Time of Year”

By |2021-01-07T15:56:01-06:00January 9th, 2021|Categories: Books, Culture|

In "That Time of Year," Garrison Keillor engagingly tells his tale as a shy, awkward writer who found fame and fortune almost by accident as a radio personality. That fame and fortune might have ruined him, but it didn’t. Humor, it seems, has helped him more than once—and more than a little. That Time of [...]

The Best Book of 2020

By |2021-01-08T11:29:00-06:00January 8th, 2021|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Senior Contributors, Thomas More|

We live in a world that desperately needs Thomas More’s wisdom. We need his understanding of God, his understanding of virtue, and his understanding of the complexities of the human person. “The Essential Works of Thomas More” is the best book of 2020 and is the book most needed in 2021. The Essential Works of [...]

The Magi and the Obstinacy of Belief

By |2021-01-05T16:22:22-06:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, History, Religion, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

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. As the new year begins, The Imaginative Conservative looks back at some of its finest essays of the [...]

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