Geography of Being

By |2020-10-12T10:40:31-05:00October 17th, 2020|Categories: Classics, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, History, Homer, Odyssey, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

When we study the classics, we might have the atlas open beside the book to remind us where we are and when we live. We can feel the overlays of history and empires and languages that sweep over the same disputed places. Relevant and contemporary to us, the great actions of mind and spirit [...]

Repentance and Regret: The Secret of Jane Austen’s Success

By |2020-10-13T15:14:33-05:00October 17th, 2020|Categories: Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Great Books, Jane Austen, Morality, Senior Contributors|

The secret of Jane Austen’s genius is that she conceals the most serious of themes within light-hearted tales: true repentance and regret. Our own vanity and egotistical deceptions are revealed, and having been made self-aware, we stop and laugh and realize that our delight has filled us with light. Along with Granada Television’s Brideshead [...]

Constancy and Coleridge

By |2020-10-07T14:38:10-05:00October 10th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, Literature, Poetry, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Shakespeare|

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge expresses in his poem “Constancy to an Ideal Object,” we might find in art the most constants, idealized in our creations, which piece together some meaning of truth amid a world of change where it might appear that nothing has meaning. Although this essay will be about Samuel Taylor Coleridge [...]

The Administrative Revolution & the End of Democracy

By |2020-10-07T07:14:07-05:00October 7th, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Civil Society, Constitution, Democracy, Democracy in America, Government, Great Books|

If Alexis de Tocqueville were alive today and observing the situation of America, he would probably not be surprised that the democratic ethos of civil society, the township, and the autonomous local county have been crushed by the royal prerogatives of the executive and the administrative bureaucracy built around it. Most Americans are somewhat [...]

The “Eumenides”: Patriotism & Moderated Modernity

By |2020-10-06T22:17:07-05:00October 4th, 2020|Categories: Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Great Books, Literature, St. John's College, Timeless Essays|

The “Eumenides” is not a tragedy of the unresolvable impasse, of the unavoidable fatality. It is a “pragma,” an affair practically handled, whose outcome is not all-round cleansing by devastation, but a future of good daily living. Aeschylus invests this drama of sweet reason, of moderation triumphant, with exhilarating solemnity and participatory splendor. Aeschylus’ Eumenides [...]

Pietas and Fallen Cities: America and Vergil’s “Aeneid”

By |2020-09-28T00:48:46-05:00September 27th, 2020|Categories: Aeneid, American Republic, Civilization, Culture, Great Books, Religion, Virgil, Virtue|

Authentic righteousness for a nation of natives, settlers, immigrants, and refugees requires the same whether for America or Vergil’s Rome: pietas. This is devotion to family, community, country, and deity. One so devoted does not fear the sublimation of the self in the fulfillment of these duties, for it is in the pursuit of [...]

Aristotle Contra Mundum: The Woke Come for the Philosopher

By |2020-09-20T15:15:19-05:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Christianity, Equality, Great Books, Liberalism, Politics, Virtue|

Professor Agnes Callard is admirable in her unwillingness to cancel Aristotle. In light of recent events, she might find his views are not so much prejudiced as they are realistic, and, on that note, timeless, unlike the egalitarian utopias which liberals are always chasing. The philosopher had a disposition toward the world around him [...]

Habit and Grace

By |2020-09-19T11:00:48-05:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Homer, Iliad, Senior Contributors, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wyoming Catholic College|

The “Iliad” shows us human nature under extreme duress. Understanding Agamemnon and the consequences of his actions gives us a complex gauge of character. We come to recognize how often in daily life surprises come and how much they reveal that we stand in need of grace. Poor Agamemnon. At the very outset of [...]

Tocqueville and a New Science of Politics

By |2020-09-14T11:33:29-05:00September 15th, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Democracy in America, Politics, Senior Contributors|

According to Tocqueville, a new political science must account for both the immediate and the universal, the moment and the eternal. When we fail to understand the choice that God has given us with democracy—that is, a science to guide, attenuate, and hone democracy—the baser instincts will rise to the fore. Tocqueville breaks his [...]

Less Than Nothing: The World Without Mystery

By |2020-09-18T10:20:50-05:00September 12th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Friedrich Nietzsche, Modernity, Mystery, Truth, Western Civilization|

Only by recognizing the divine mystery that predicates existence in the world can one reclaim his individuality. Only then will he be capable of searching for meaning generated outside the human intellect. Humans can never be gods, but they need God to live meaningful lives. Most students I teach believe that reality is subjective [...]

Reflections on Tocqueville: The Pervasiveness of Equality

By |2020-08-31T14:44:00-05:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Democracy in America, Equality, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

To this day, though America has changed in size, shape, demographics, and technology, “Democracy in America” remains the single finest description of the American experiment. Introducing his work to the world, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that nothing struck him more than the pervasiveness of the idea of equality in the United States. Alexis de [...]

Life After Death With the Poets

By |2020-08-14T12:21:34-05:00August 16th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Death, Great Books, Homer, Joseph Pearce, Poetry, Senior Contributors, Virgil|

The greatest poets, including Homer, Virgil, and Dante, ask what happens to the human soul after death. Do the dead become mere shadows of their former selves or do they become more real? The greatest poets have always asked the most important questions. One of the most important questions concerns the destiny of the [...]

Shakespeare’s Farewell

By |2020-08-10T15:44:15-05:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, England, Great Books, History, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

“The Tempest” is indubitably the final play that William Shakespeare wrote. Why did Shakespeare, who was still in good health, bow out in such an apparently premature fashion? What might have induced such a decision to leave his career in theatre? Now my charms are all o’erthrown, And what strength I have’s mine own, [...]

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