In Defense of Dark Corners

By |2020-02-29T06:46:13-06:00February 29th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Religion, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

There are dark corners to be explored in a great church. Instead of vast seating space, bright with electric light, huge speakers hanging from the beams, and padded pews, give me the darkened chapel where ancient monks recited their daily prayers. Give me the dark corner of a crumbling cloister, the dark corner of [...]

Richard Wagner and the Seduction of Nietzsche

By |2020-02-07T14:03:18-06:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Friedrich Nietzsche, Joseph Pearce, Music, Opera, Richard Wagner, Senior Contributors|

The sheer power and magnitude of Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal,” the fruit of his recent conversion to a vague form of Christianity, shook the resolve and philosophy of his long-time disciple, Friedrich Nietzsche, to their foundations. Having recently watched a superb and breathtaking performance of Wagner’s last and perhaps greatest work, I feel constrained to [...]

Russell Kirk’s Beauty and Civilization

By |2020-01-31T22:18:17-06:00January 31st, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Modernity, Religion, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

In the late 1950s, as Russell Kirk considered what needed to be conserved in the Western tradition as well as what needed to be discarded, he lamented that much of what the West did was “uglify.”  It had forgotten not only the necessity of beauty, but it had forgotten how to define beauty. It [...]

Why Beauty Matters

By |2020-03-04T16:29:06-06:00January 13th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beauty, Roger Scruton|

"The sacred and the beautiful stand side by side. Two doors that open onto a single space. In that space we find our home."—Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020). Please watch this brilliant, classic documentary by the late Sir Roger Scruton on "Why Beauty Matters." —The editors This essay in our series of “Timeless Essays” [...]

The Transcendent Beauty of Icons

By |2020-01-27T10:42:12-06:00December 7th, 2019|Categories: Art, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Orthodoxy, Western Civilization|

While much Western art immerses us in the richness of this world with its spacial and emotional realism, the Eastern Orthodox tradition uses only painted images, with icons of Christ, Mary, and the saints functioning as “windows into heaven,” by way of stylized forms that convey a Platonic ideal of beauty and truth. Virgin [...]

The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Truth

By |2019-11-16T21:13:52-06:00November 16th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Books, Culture, Joseph Pearce, Permanent Things, Senior Contributors, Truth|

Books are liberating. Not all books, to be sure. Not the sort of books that are as bad as the fads they serve, the sort of books in which vanity vanquishes verity, and in which the passion for fashion crucifies truth. Not the sort of books that turn their readers into prisoners of the [...]

Edgar Allan Poe and the Mask of the 20th Century

By |2019-11-01T15:52:19-05:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Edgar Allan Poe, Literature|

The name Edgar Allan Poe conjures images of the macabre, murder, insanity, and self-destruction, but is this the real Edgar Allan Poe? BUT for the cruel aspersions upon the character and life of America’s poetic genius, EDGAR ALLAN POE, this volume would have remained unwritten. EDGAR ALLAN POE has been more misunderstood than any [...]

How to Rediscover the Order of the Universe in a Postmodern World

By |2019-10-16T22:18:34-05:00October 16th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Books, Culture, John Horvat, Modernity, Order|

There is an order of the universe. How refreshing are these words! They cause a certain joy, especially in our days of chaos. If an order exists, then God exists who is its Creator and source. We might then exclaim with the Psalmist how all creation gives glory to God and elevates our souls [...]

The Tide Is Turning for the Arts

By |2019-08-29T22:39:46-05:00August 29th, 2019|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Literature, Poetry|

Like the abstract painters, poets abandoned form and gave themselves over to free verse. Since the close of the 20th century, however, the tide of postmodernism has turned somewhat in art and poetry. A shift back toward tradition and form is taking place. To call World War I a catastrophe for the West is akin to [...]

Listening to “Burnt Norton”

By |2019-08-24T23:50:26-05:00August 24th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s visit to the garden at Burnt Norton, and his musings with Emily Hale about a love and life together that never happened, lead to a broader contemplation on the nature of time, free will, and human choice, culminating in the first poem of the "Four Quartets." I’m using the word “listening” in this [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]