“Freedom Cadence”

By |2020-05-24T22:42:43-05:00May 24th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Bruce Springsteen, Memorial Day, Military, Music|

"Without Bruce Springsteen there would be no Vietnam veterans movement." —Bob Muller, head of the Vietnam Veterans of America, 1981 Bruce Springsteen recorded this song for the closing credits of the movie Thank You For Your Service. The film drama is based on the real-life experiences of Iraq War veteran Adam Schumann. Springsteen recorded the [...]

Christopher Dawson and the Religious Impulse

By |2020-05-23T17:30:06-05:00May 23rd, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Civilization, Culture, Government, History, Religion|

How does religion act as a driving force of politics and culture? Christoper Dawson argued that “we cannot understand the inner form of a society unless we understand its religion,” and we cannot make sense of any culture or its achievements without knowing the religious inspiration from which its creativity flowed. Imagine a diagram [...]

“Lord, Teach Us to Pray”: Reflections on Fulton Sheen

By |2020-05-24T10:02:23-05:00May 23rd, 2020|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Religion|

When I was a child, my mother would regularly put my brothers and me to sleep by playing Fulton Sheen talks on tape and (later) on CD. I remember marveling first at the man’s voice, its weathered timbre and solemn cadence and massive fluctuations in volume. What held my attention next were the stories: [...]

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 [...]

A Monster and the Mask

By |2020-05-22T17:48:52-05:00May 22nd, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Dante, Dwight Longenecker, Religion, Senior Contributors|

Dante’s ugly, shapeshifting demon, Geryon, is all around us, covering his rage with a facade of love, compassion, and concern. He is also within us. And this is a truth we must bring to light, because, without it, we cannot really understand the depth and grim reality of the Christian faith. “Behold the beast [...]

Turning the Whole Soul: The Moral Journey of the Philosophic Nature in Plato’s “Republic”

By |2020-05-22T00:02:14-05:00May 21st, 2020|Categories: Andrew Seeley, Culture, Education, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates|

According to Socrates, to save Philosophy, to save young souls destined for greatness, to save human society itself, the true, philosophic nature must be freed from the corruptive influences that have formed him and receive the best education. The soul must be turned around. I forgot that we were playing and spoke rather intensely. [...]

“The Ring of the Nibelung”: Romantic Nonsense?

By |2020-05-21T14:15:08-05:00May 21st, 2020|Categories: Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The Ring of the Nibelung, Wagner’s great cycle of operas exploring the origin of consciousness and the birth of the human world begins in the depths of the river Rhine, and also in the depths of the unconscious, hearing the voice of the natural order from which human kind departed in the long distant past. [...]

Defending the Permanent Things

By |2020-05-20T16:04:50-05:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Books, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Language, Liberal Learning|

Apologists for Greek and Latin have lately dwindled. Yet in the past several years there have been some notable attempts to save classical education from utter extinction—one of which is Tracy Lee Simmons’ “Climbing Parnassus.” Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin, by Tracy Lee Simmons (290 pages, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2007) [...]

Confronting the Heart of Darkness

By |2020-05-23T20:24:13-05:00May 19th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christian Living, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Religion, Senior Contributors, War|

Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness, by Dwight Longenecker (160 pages, Sophia Institute Press, 2020) It was, I believe, C.S. Lewis who said, speaking of the mediaeval mind and culture, that “the very air was thick with angels.” If, however, angels are real and not merely figments of the imagination, mediaeval or otherwise, [...]

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” [...]

Three Counsels for the “Unfortunate” Graduation Class of 2020

By |2020-05-12T13:28:33-05:00May 17th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Culture, Education, John Horvat, Modernity|

When things collapse, childish narratives no longer are an option. The class of 2020 will have no choice but to mature or fade away. How fortunate its graduates will be if they accept the responsibilities of adulthood. This year’s graduates can become America’s “Second Great Generation” or a lost one. Rarely have graduates faced challenges [...]

Why “Western Civ” Is Losing Its Appeal

By |2020-05-18T08:09:17-05:00May 17th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civilization, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Great Books, Liberal Arts, Literature, Modernity, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The Western canon as typically presented is increasingly unable to rally the enthusiasm even of devoted admirers of Western civilization, who recognize the commonly proffered canons as, at best, an impoverished rendition of Western culture and, at worst, a perpetuation of the very same cultural forces that are at the source of its decay. [...]

“For the Journey”

By |2020-05-17T01:05:02-05:00May 17th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Imagination, Poetry, Religion|

When my father was in World War II, after which he received orders for other assignments that took him away from home for long periods of time, I resided with my maternal grandmother. She had emigrated from Sicily and lived in this country for over 60 years (but refused to learn English, considering it [...]