Culture

Music and the Education of the Christian Soul

By |2019-08-19T00:48:52-05:00August 18th, 2019|Categories: Antonio Vivaldi, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Happiness, Heaven, Music, Timeless Essays|

In a world ringing with noise and suffused with the more or less artful idolizing of passions divorced from objective goods, where are we to find melodies capable of penetrating our hardened hearts with spiritual truths? Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join L. Joseph Hebert, as he [...]

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 [...]

Listening to “Four Quartets”

By |2019-08-17T16:18:15-05:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Mystery, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” is highly personal, uniquely-fashioned religious poetry. This wordless realm into which Eliot takes us is the region of dreams, the numinous, the collective unconscious. He wishes us to plunge into the experience instead of simply pondering the meaning. I first read T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets as an undergraduate and was [...]

Berlioz and Shakespeare

By |2019-08-16T12:15:01-05:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

From his first experience of "Hamlet" in 1827 to his death in 1869, Hector Berlioz found William Shakespeare's plays to be an ongoing source of almost-divine inspiration for his music. Indeed, Berlioz's love for "the father of artists" led to the creation of what many consider to be his greatest work: the dramatic symphony, "Roméo [...]

The Feminine Genius of Jane Austen

By |2019-08-16T23:08:45-05:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Great Books, History, Jane Austen, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Jane Austen is more than a giantess among women writers. She is also a giantess among the giants, holding a place of pride and prominence among the greatest writers of either sex and of all ages. She doesn’t merely tower above George Elliot, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and the Brontë sisters, she also towers above [...]

Woodstock 50: What Went Wrong Then and Now

By |2019-08-14T21:55:25-05:00August 14th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Culture War, History, Modernity, Music|

If America is polarized and directionless today, it is partly due to the cultural revolution that emanated from Woodstock. The solution is not to recreate Woodstock fifty years later, but to reject it as the cultural and moral disaster that it was. Woodstock represented what America would eventually become—a broken and dysfunctional society. It shows [...]

Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New: Restoring Beauty to a Parish Church

By |2019-08-10T22:35:32-05:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Art, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

A thought occurs to me as I contemplate the architectural updating of our parish church, which will paradoxically make our church appear older and timeless: Although God doesn’t need beautiful things, he is infinitely deserving of them, and we need to make them—for the good of our souls. My parish church is undergoing an [...]

Unity in Difference: Language-Learning & God’s Kingdom

By |2019-08-10T22:07:13-05:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Charity, Christianity, Culture, Education, Language, Literature|

Learning another language helps me to not only understand, but to better experience first-hand how another person thinks, feels, and interacts with the world; this creates the possibility for empathy, fellow-feeling, and ultimately, charity. Having taught high-school Spanish for the first time last fall, I have been wondering why it is that we teach [...]

Solomon on Vanity

By |2019-08-06T07:59:05-05:00August 6th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

God has put in our hearts a yearning for eternity, but, as long as we live in this world, we must modify our desires to its changes, its vanities, its impermanence. Fear the Lord and obey his commandments, and you will have fulfilled your duty. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and [...]

Plato’s Theory of Ideas

By |2019-08-05T21:25:16-05:00August 5th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Plato, Reason, Senior Contributors, Socrates, Truth|

Socrates’ own chief word is ‘eidos.’ Like the word ‘idea,’ it is built on the simple past stem of the word ‘to see,’ which signifies the act of seeing once done and completed. The ‘eidos’ is knowable, but it is not knowledge. It confronts the soul and is not of it. To put it [...]

Charles Darwin’s Two Faulty Metaphors

By |2019-08-04T21:59:11-05:00August 4th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Darwin, George Stanciu, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors|

Charles Darwin’s notion of the survival of the fittest remains a sacred idea in science—no indeed, in modern Western culture. The imagined war of every organism against every other represents a profound enculturation of science, prejudicing theories and obscuring the facts. The evidence, however, clearly shows that nature is not competitive but cooperative. “Charles [...]

On the Anniversary of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Birth

By |2019-08-03T07:44:10-05:00August 3rd, 2019|Categories: Culture, History, Literature, Poetry|

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s extensive reading of the greatest classical thinkers led him to a deep love of beauty. Though he was hounded out of his country, slandered and ostracized, he became, after his death, immortal, as his works spread and succeeding generations were able to experience their beauty and profundity. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) is [...]