The Augustine Option: A Third Way?

By |2019-06-06T12:17:44-05:00September 8th, 2018|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Conservatism, Culture, St. Augustine|

If we are indeed witnessing the nadir of American politics—or at least its accelerating decline—we should listen closely to Augustine. The “Augustine Option,” meaning a life lived in the final years of Rome, can offer key insights into how we should understand and address these tumultuous times... To the continued debate over whether religious Americans [...]

Augustine’s “Confessions” Unpacked

By |2019-06-06T10:41:45-05:00June 9th, 2018|Categories: Books, Christianity, Faith, Great Books, Louis Markos, Religion, St. Augustine, Theology|

Augustine’s Confessions is first and foremost a prayer to God. Indeed, unless we read it as a prayer, we will not understand it; we will only study it… I Burned for Your Peace: Augustine’s Confessions Unpacked, by Peter Kreeft (240 pages, Ignatius Press, 2016) Back in 1990, I had the rare privilege of teaching [...]

Does Love Always Lead to Suffering?

By |2019-07-10T23:22:04-05:00March 21st, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Christianity, Ethics, George Stanciu, Homer, Love, Plato, Religion, St. Augustine|

Much of suffering is an impenetrable mystery. But to a limited degree, we are able to understand suffering if we can come to understand what love is… Pope John Paul II, in Salvifici Doloris, writes, “Sacred Scripture is a great book about suffering.”[1] He then quotes the Old Testament to illustrate the spectrum of human suffering: [...]

Fanaticism: Distorting Humanity?

By |2018-12-21T07:18:10-06:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Featured, G.K. Chesterton, Ideology, Jane Austen, St. Augustine, St. John Henry Newman, Timeless Essays|

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 the fanatic and how fanaticism is incompatible with [...]

The Emotions: A Primer

By |2019-07-10T23:22:11-05:00February 19th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Featured, George Stanciu, Great Books, Love, St. Augustine, St. John's College, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Although the potential range of emotional experience is essentially the same in all human beings, each culture exhibits its own patterns, inculcating certain feelings while discouraging others, promoting either expression or restraint, and defining variously the place of the emotions in everyday life… Americans believe that every person’s interior life is unique; consequently, an [...]

Awaiting the King: Developing a Christian Imagination

By |2019-10-30T12:07:27-05:00January 6th, 2018|Categories: Books, Christianity, Conservatism, Culture, Gospel Reflection, Love, St. Augustine, Virtue|

The church needs to ensure it is offering the true account of reality, rather than the account that the world is offering. That account, expressed through liturgy and worship, will form the Christian political imagination… Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology by James K.A. Smith (256 pages, Baker Academic, 2017) The present historical moment is [...]

In the Beginning Was the Word

By |2017-11-04T07:31:54-05:00November 3rd, 2017|Categories: Christianity, Gospel Reflection, Joseph Pearce, Language, St. Augustine|

If we do not understand words, through the apprehension and comprehension of their definitions, we cannot even begin to understand the wonders and glories of the cosmos that the Word Himself has brought forth… It seems that Mark Malvasi, in his latest essay on these pages, seeks to continue what he calls our “gentlemanly [...]

Virtue and the City

By |2019-06-11T16:09:36-05:00October 26th, 2017|Categories: Cicero, Featured, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Virtue|

To attain virtue in solitude defeats the communitarian instincts of human nature. The avenue of politics is one of the mediums by which moral excellence can, and should, be practiced—for there are tremendous benefits wrought to the rest of society as a result… “We see that every city is some sort of community, and [...]

The Glory and Misery of Education

By |2019-09-12T12:05:55-05:00October 16th, 2017|Categories: Christianity, Education, Gerhart Niemeyer, Liberal Learning, St. Augustine|Tags: |

The misery will have to become more sharply unbearable, the suffering personal and yet wide-spread, before people begin to run after a real teacher, seize him by the hem of his overcoat, and beg him to take charge of their children. Let us not say that then it will be too late. It may [...]

Augustine: A Saint for Eternity

By |2019-05-14T13:56:25-05:00August 27th, 2017|Categories: Aeneid, Catholicism, Civilization, Modernity, Paul Krause, Plutarch, Sainthood, St. Augustine, Thucydides, War|

Augustine passed on to us, and all posterity, prescient words of wisdom: that even in the most disconcerting and dark of times, beauty, compassion, truth, love, and happiness abound… When the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410, the city that had taken the world captive had fallen into captivity. The event was a transformative moment [...]

Jonathan Edwards: Founding Father of American Political Thought

By |2020-10-05T15:48:04-05:00August 26th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Freedom, History, Leadership, Philosophy, Plato, Politics, St. Augustine|

Jonathan Edwards helped to invent a new America, committed to a national covenant and an unprecedented spiritual egalitarianism. In 1930, the historian Henry Bamford Parkes critically assessed the legacy of America’s most famous Puritan intellectual, Jonathan Edwards. According to Parkes, “it is hardly a hyperbole to say that, if Edwards had never lived, there [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “The Fire Sermon”: Of Memory & Salvation

By |2017-11-03T21:03:24-05:00August 8th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Modernity, St. Augustine, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot reminds us that the answers to our soul’s depravity are all around us, in our collective culture—the books we read, the places we inhabit, the music we listen to—but also that culture can only survive if we remember it and keep it alive… “These things I do within, in that vast chamber [...]

Augustine and Limited Government

By |2019-08-22T15:21:41-05:00July 29th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Civilization, Featured, Government, Order, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, St. Augustine|

Augustine recognized that the flaws of human nature precluded perfection on earth, and he concluded that government cannot save souls by coercing virtuous conduct… Since Augustine’s death in 430 A.D., the world has changed so much that this irreplaceable figure of Christianity would likely find difficult it to recognize. The advent of extraordinary technological [...]

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