Civilization

George Kennan’s Diaries

By |2019-09-04T23:49:16-05:00September 4th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Civilization, Cold War, Europe, Foreign Affairs, Politics, War|

George Kennan was—and remains—an important, even compelling, figure in the early history of the Cold War. But these selections from his voluminous and often overwrought diaries reveal him to have been something other than what this honest, if not always moderate, this calm, but not always cool, and detached professional diplomat took himself to [...]

An Invitation to Augustine’s “City of God”

By |2019-08-25T00:05:09-05:00August 24th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christendom, Civilization, Education, Great Books, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine|

No work of Christian theology has left such an impact on the world and biblical interpretation and understanding as St. Augustine’s “City of God.” We who read the Bible do so, often unknowingly, through the eyes of the bishop of Hippo. In 410 A.D., the city of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths. Rome [...]

An Immodest Proposal

By |2019-08-17T16:08:22-05:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Civilization, Culture, History|

By a providence that nervous chroniclers call “luck,” the fire in Paris did not ruin the cathedral of Notre Dame. Most of its major parts remain, however fragile. Since so many have offered unsolicited opinions about the future of the cathedral, I would like to make an immodest proposal. A fad for picturesque ruins grew [...]

Brutalist Architecture: The Disappearance of Beauty

By |2019-07-24T22:21:27-05:00July 24th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Civilization, Culture|

Even if we dismiss brutalism as a fad perpetrated by blinkered technocrats and egotistical architects, ugly buildings seem to impose an unconscious psychic tax on the great mass of people. So why have we lost the ability to construct beautiful buildings? Few are immune to the architectural charms of Eastern Europe. Prague’s winding streets [...]

The Importance of Learning to Argue: From Ancient Greece Through the Present

By |2019-06-26T22:48:36-05:00June 26th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Education, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Socrates, St. John's College|

Perhaps more than ever, we have a need for education of a particular kind: an education that trains one in the habits of exchanging ideas. Not a forum for the debate of settled opinions, where victory is the end, but an education that is the forge and working house of thought itself. In order [...]

Cicero: No Slave of Plato

By |2019-06-07T09:36:17-05:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Of all the writers who came at the end of the Roman Republic and at the beginning of the Empire, most make note of the loss of traditional morality. It was Cicero who advocated an adherence to nature and order by recognizing the proper meaning of a thing within and around the very existence [...]

Child-Rearing: Notes from a Comparative Cultures Tutorial

By |2019-07-10T23:20:38-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Community, Education, George Stanciu, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

Unprecedented in history is the development of the adolescent—a period of life in which one is isolated from childhood and maturity. Child-rearing practices vary from culture to culture, and many Americans are shocked to discover that the most turbulent period of their lives was a cultural phenomenon. The confusion, rebellion, and search for identity [...]

True Law is Right Reason in Agreement With Nature

By |2019-06-06T10:13:21-05:00June 2nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Cicero’s “On the Republic” has influenced the West for centuries, calling to harmony the various aspects of government. In his call to harmony, Cicero portrays a republic in which a proper action demands the balance of the three faculties of man, as well as one in which true law is understood as coming not [...]

The Natural and the Foreign: Republics from Rome to America

By |2019-06-06T10:11:25-05:00May 31st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

According to Cicero, the Republic follows the paths of nature and god in all its activities. As such, the true statesman—like the gardener—knows when to plant, when to fertilize, when to water, when to weed, when to prune, and when to harvest. Yet there is still, to be certain, a season for everything. And, [...]

Cicero’s Republic: Implanted in the Nature of Man

By |2019-06-06T10:09:59-05:00May 17th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

The best society, Cicero argues, cultivates us as free individuals for the benefit of the community. Virtue exists in every being, but few realize it or cultivate it. Yet, it is what makes men, men, and allows them to be free. Usually remembered for his political triumphs and defeats as well as for his [...]

Virgil on Tradition

By |2019-05-30T09:51:24-05:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: Aeneas, Civilization, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Tradition, Virgil, Wisdom|

Citizens of the twenty-first century, learn from us to respect and honor your traditions. You seem so fascinated with novel, untried ideas that you often overlook the wisdom of the past. If we forget that legacy, we cease to be who we are. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other [...]

America’s Urban Nightmare: Gotham City

By |2019-05-03T22:57:53-05:00May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Batman Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Culture, Senior Contributors|

Behind all the sin and the struggle for good is the all-important backdrop, Gotham City, perhaps Robert Kane and Bill Finger’s second greatest creation after the Batman himself. If Batman represents the action hero and ultimate humanist, Gotham is the ultimate surrealist, expressionist, nihilistic noir city and stage. Gotham is a nightmare city, once [...]