Banning Books and Burning Heretics

By |2019-01-24T22:31:46-05:00January 24th, 2019|

Advocates of the liberal arts include “heretical” books in the great conversation, whereas political liberals seek to silence them as dangerous. As we have seen in Nazi Germany and in communist countries, the banning of “heretical” books ends with the burning of “heretics”… Several years ago, I visited the two-room shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, [...]

Thomas More on Conscience, Courage, & the Comedy of Politics

By |2018-12-29T23:53:15-05:00December 29th, 2018|

As the gulf between classical and postmodern notions of conscience and government grows ever wider and their clashes more explosive, it is high time for the jury to give renewed attention to the nuances of Thomas More’s understanding of the apparently competing, but ultimately harmonious, demands of divine, natural, and human law… In August of 1534 Margaret [...]

The Underground Shakespeare

By |2018-12-22T09:16:58-05:00December 21st, 2018|

Despite their obscurity, The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis were Shakespeare’s best-sellers. But why were these poems so wildly popular? In Shadowplay—her first book about the secret messages in Shakespeare’s plays—Clare Asquith explains what sparked first her imagination and then her research: In the early 1980s she and her husband attended a [...]

Thomas Gray’s Desperate Pastoral

By |2018-08-15T09:54:33-05:00August 14th, 2018|

In his "Elegy," Thomas Gray wrote a great, some­times mystifying and troubling poem, and, where the pastoral impulse is concerned, an admonishing one... No one born after the French Revolution, said the durable Talleyrand, can know how sweet life can be. This sentiment was quoted in his book about Metternich by that unsuspected romantic Henry [...]

G.K. Chesterton’s “What’s Wrong With the World”

By |2019-04-18T11:17:36-05:00August 8th, 2018|

The next time someone tells you that reactionaries and other assorted defenders of the family and private property do not care about the poor, invite them to read G.K. Chesterton’s final words in What’s Wrong with the World… A man of great good cheer, G. K. Chesterton was well known for his sunny disposition [...]

The Conservative Vision of Richard Vobes

By |2018-07-27T00:10:06-05:00July 26th, 2018|

The subtext of YouTuber Richard Vobes’ journeys around England is that what is old, what has stood the test of time, deserves our veneration. In a throw-away culture when we are too distracted, too mesmerized by our technological gadgets to be able to engage in real wonder, Mr. Vobes provides us a means to [...]

Rebuilding Western Civilization: A Tale of Two Monasteries

By |2019-03-05T12:06:13-05:00July 7th, 2018|

The three vows of the Benedictine monk are obedience, stability, and conversion of life. In our own ways, we can follow this example, making it real by paying attention to prayer, cracking the books in solid study, and rolling up our sleeves in the honest, hard work of rebuilding what has fallen into despair [...]

The Fourth of July: An Englishman’s Perspective

By |2018-07-04T11:37:26-05:00July 3rd, 2018|

Many moons ago, for this very journal, I wrote an essay entitled “Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving,” offering an Englishman’s perspective on the singularly American feast that ushers in the holiday season. In that article I compared my enthusiasm for Thanksgiving with “my relative indifference to the Fourth of July:” What is an Englishman, living [...]

Home Thoughts From Abroad

By |2018-06-29T19:47:43-05:00June 29th, 2018|

Joseph Pearce, a hobbit in exile, muses on the Shire. O to be in England Now that April’s there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England—now! [...]

Is America an Idea?

By |2019-02-05T16:17:11-05:00May 30th, 2018|

The civic-nationalist view holds that subscribing to the philosophy of the Founding—equality, opportunity, individualism—is the defining trait of the American people. But others argue that it is those uniquely American practices that order the rhythms of life that make us love the United States as our home… This past weekend, there was a wedding [...]

All the Devils Are Here: Britain’s Culture of Death

By |2018-05-06T22:20:43-05:00May 6th, 2018|

So brazenly was Britain’s Culture of Death on display recently that the scales dropped from the eyes of any who wished to see. Many do not want to see, though, and look away as life support machines are turned off, and the full force of the law is used to prevent the sick moving to a [...]

C. S. Lewis: Critic of Progressivism

By |2018-04-02T23:38:08-05:00April 2nd, 2018|

While most of us associate C.S. Lewis with theological literature, the renowned author sounded the siren against progressivism’s clear dangers not only to the political rights and liberties of man, but also to our very perception of the reality of mankind… C.S. Lewis: World-renowned author, philosopher, theologian. Christian apologist. Mere mention of his name [...]

Sherlock Homeless

By |2017-12-29T11:13:56-05:00December 29th, 2017|

I watched Sherlock with a growing sense of sorrow for the homelessness of Holmes, and for the homelessness of those who wrote it, and for the homelessness of so many of those who watch it. I share their sense that we live in a vale of tears and that we see it through a [...]

A Yuletide Carol with a Difference

By |2017-12-23T12:24:26-05:00December 23rd, 2017|

Yes, there are always the Scrooges who seek to spoil the Christmas party, staying out in the cold and dark. Meanwhile, warming ourselves at the hearth, let’s get into the spirit of the Season and enjoy a modern Christmas carol translated into Old English… One doesn’t need to be a Christian to enjoy Christmas. Or, [...]