Repentance and Regret: The Secret of Jane Austen’s Success

By |2020-10-13T15:14:33-05:00October 17th, 2020|Categories: Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Great Books, Jane Austen, Morality, Senior Contributors|

The secret of Jane Austen’s genius is that she conceals the most serious of themes within light-hearted tales: true repentance and regret. Our own vanity and egotistical deceptions are revealed, and having been made self-aware, we stop and laugh and realize that our delight has filled us with light. Along with Granada Television’s Brideshead [...]

Principles Learned Through Piano Practice

By |2020-08-21T15:37:36-05:00August 21st, 2020|Categories: Character, Christian Living, Christianity, Culture, Music|

Most of us have read or heard of the studies that show the mental benefits that come from learning a musical instrument. Such benefits include the development of fine motor skills, opportunity for frequent brain stimulation, improvement in cognition and dexterity, concentration enhancement, and increased neuroplasticity, to name a few. All of these benefits [...]

Marianne Moore’s Baseball Poems

By |2020-08-12T16:15:48-05:00July 27th, 2020|Categories: Baseball, Character, Christianity, Culture, History, Literature, Poetry, Sports|

As we attempt to understand Marianne Moore’s baseball poems, it is important to see the contextual influence of her brother and their mutual interest in Pauline Christianity, a tradition they never abandoned. There is some mystery in the space between sport and religion that many Christian athletes inhabit and of which Marianne Moore is [...]

Music as a Window Into History and Character

By |2020-07-23T15:07:46-05:00July 22nd, 2020|Categories: Character, Culture, History, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Albéric Magnard’s music is a happy amalgam of all that was best in Wagner, Franck, and Debussy. The gentle, nostalgic, and somewhat melancholy reminiscence of the past is a key part of his aesthetic and a clear legacy of his Schola Cantorum training. Yet his music is also progressive, looking forward unmistakably to the [...]

“Hungary”

By |2020-06-28T19:53:00-05:00June 26th, 2020|Categories: Character, Christianity, Fiction, History, Imagination, Religion|

History’s tyrants and thieves remain with us, and if things get very dark sometimes, then my best hope is to do the right thing in the light of His Grace. That’s all I can hope to do, passing on that Grace whenever I can. It’s strange how I can’t remember this guy’s whole name [...]

A Curious Education: Winston Churchill and the Teaching of a Statesman

By |2020-06-18T00:19:08-05:00June 17th, 2020|Categories: Character, Culture, Education, History, Virtue, Winston Churchill|

Winston Churchill’s education deserves close study because it shaped his evolution from unsteady boyhood to rational statesmanship. It was this education that enabled him to exercise discernment and discover what was advantageous and disadvantageous, just and unjust, so that—whether in peacetime or in war—he could demonstrate remarkable qualities and serve the country he loved. [...]

Charles De Gaulle as Catholic Military Exemplar

By |2020-05-23T17:35:57-05:00May 23rd, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Character, Christianity, Culture, Europe, History, Religion|

The memory of General Charles de Gaulle has largely faded away, like a fleeting dream, from the soul of the French nation. Nonetheless, his example serves as a testament to those men and women in uniform of the endless grace that flows from the Catholic faith, and which is required to continue the eternal [...]

Charm and the Civilized Life

By |2020-05-18T18:30:26-05:00May 18th, 2020|Categories: Books, Character, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Virtue|

In his latest book, Joseph Epstein takes on the elusive topic of charm, which consists of being pleasing to others and making the world seem a better place. Charm radiates light, order, and good humor; it is cool and calm, not hot and excited. Perhaps, like beauty, charm is one of the blessedly “useless” [...]

Glaucon’s Fate: History, Myth, and Character in Plato’s “Republic”

By |2020-05-14T18:09:03-05:00May 14th, 2020|Categories: Books, Character, Culture, History, Myth, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates|

Glaucon’s story is part of a well-known political tragedy that swept up many of Plato’s friends and fellow citizens, including Socrates. The evidence for his personal tragedy, however, is deeply embedded in the text. Like a three-dimensional image hidden within a two-dimensional picture, it requires a special adjustment of the eyes to perceive. Perhaps [...]

President James Monroe and Republican Virtue

By |2020-05-11T10:00:26-05:00May 11th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Government, History, Senior Contributors|

Whatever his failings as an imaginative thinker, President James Monroe’s own convictions were rooted deeply in the spirit and the letter of the U.S. Constitution. As he entered the White House in March 1817, he had little (well, less) use for James Madison’s newfound love of nationalism. While he entered the presidency too late [...]

Love in Time of Plague: Manzoni’s “The Betrothed”

By |2020-04-24T12:41:36-05:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Books, Character, Coronavirus, Imagination, Literature, Morality, Virtue|

No book shows how little we care to find out the truth, how little we know ourselves, how even less we know others, how rumor, prejudice, and illusion, rule our world as Alessandro Manzoni’s "The Betrothed." Set in Lombardy in the 17th century, it covers the whole horror of a plague in whose deadly grip [...]

Why Are So Many Conservatives Coronavirus-Doubters?

By |2020-04-19T13:17:09-05:00April 19th, 2020|Categories: Character, Conservatism, Coronavirus, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors|

Why do so many Americans doubt the coronavirus? I think there are both admirable and repugnant traits within the American character that help to explain the phenomenon. I don’t believe I am wrong in my observation that many of my fellow conservatives come across as “coronavirus doubters.” Someone has coined a clumsy phrase, “Coronavirus [...]

Vale, Christopher Tolkien: Middle-Earth Is Indebted to You

By |2020-01-29T16:37:58-06:00January 29th, 2020|Categories: Character, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature|

If J.R.R. Tolkien was a Titan, Christopher was Atlas, with the weight of a cosmology on his back. On January 16, in France, and at the age of 95, Christopher John Reuel Tolkien quietly passed away. The headlines of many obituaries and tributes refer to him as the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, which indeed [...]

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