The Swords of the Imagination: Russell Kirk’s Battle With Modernity

By |2021-06-02T20:32:52-05:00June 2nd, 2021|Categories: Conservatism, Essential, Featured, Gleaves Whitney, Imagination, Modernity, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays|

“Imagination rules the world,” Russell Kirk used to say.[1] He meant that imagination is a force that molds the clay of our sentiments and understanding.[2] It is not chiefly through calculations, formulas, and syllogisms, but by means of images, myths, and stories that we comprehend our relation to God, to nature, to others, and to the self. [...]

Winged Words: Reading & Discussing Great Books

By |2021-06-01T09:36:29-05:00June 1st, 2021|Categories: Aristotle, Dante, Essential, Featured, Great Books, Homer, Humanities, Imagination, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Peter Kalkavage, Plato, St. John's College, Timeless Essays|

Great books introduce us to ideas and to ways of looking at the world that are new to us. They provide a refreshing distance from the trends, fashions, tastes, opinions, and political correctness of our current culture. Great books invite us to put aside for a while our way of looking at the world and [...]

Barfield’s Romantic Logos

By |2021-05-18T16:51:59-05:00May 18th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Culture, Imagination, Philosophy, Reason, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Owen Barfield argued that the modern world must readopt the truths of the Logos, should Western Civilization move beyond its current selfish and totalitarian phase. And this rediscovered love of the Logos must express itself throughout culture and the arts. In 1944, over a decade after Lewis’s conversion to Christianity, half a decade after Tolkien’s [...]

Disraelian Conservatism & the Romantic Imagination

By |2021-03-18T11:45:36-05:00March 22nd, 2021|Categories: Conservatism, Imagination, Literature, Moral Imagination, Politics|

For the conservative Benjamin Disraeli, the answers to the political problems of the present lie in the restoration of the ideals of the past. Restoration is not an attempt to reject the present and escape or return to an earlier state of a society; it is rather a creative, imaginative effort to infuse the present [...]

The Gentle Genius of Thomas Howard

By |2021-01-29T12:01:09-06:00February 1st, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Chivalrous and self-effacing in a completely genuine and unconscious way, Thomas Howard was a bona fide gentleman, in the old-fashioned sense of the word. He was a walking witness of all that is good and gracious in life, serving as a tacit reminder of goodness, truth, and beauty. Thomas Howard When Thomas Howard [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2021-01-21T12:00:41-06:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Essential, Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative|

My first and last care is not politics but education. Education seems to me inherently conservative, being the transmission, and thus the saving, of a tradition’s treasures of fiction and thought. But education is also inherently imaginative. Author’s Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once [...]

“The Speech”: Maintaining Sanity in an Insane World

By |2021-01-08T09:36:34-06:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Forrest McDonald, Hope, Imagination, Timeless Essays, Wisdom|

I propose to address the question, how does one survive—and I mean survive as something—in a world that may not? How does one remain sane in a world that is insane; how does one live without fear in a world in which the only certainty is that nothing is certain? As the new year arrives, [...]

Who Now Remembers Andrew Lang?

By |2020-11-26T09:07:56-06:00November 26th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Imagination, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors|

As an anthropologist and folklorist, Andrew Lang believed that fairy tales and folklore serve as records of the past in the cultural realm, much like the tradition of common law in the legal realm. Through the study of cultural norms and folkways, one can understand the mores of the present. Some men should never have [...]

Prayer, Beauty, and Civilization

By |2020-11-21T10:16:29-06:00November 21st, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Imagination, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

In our zeal to articulate how Christianity has shaped civilization, we are apt to neglect the specific role of prayer. The good, the true, and the beautiful fostered by our civilization have been initiated and sustained by prayer. If one does not pray, what measure of human cultivation is one missing? Art and Prayer: The [...]

The Assault on Opera

By |2020-11-12T13:17:40-06:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Imagination, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Hardly an opera producer now, confronted with a masterpiece that might otherwise delight and console an audience, can control the desire to desecrate. The more exalted the music, the more demeaning the production. What modern producers seem to forget is that audiences are gifted with the faculty of imagination. The disappearance of the bourgeoisie has led [...]

Zombie Legends in the Age of Mass Man

By |2020-10-30T15:23:04-05:00October 30th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Death, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Modernity, Myth|

Zombie legends remain a relevant medium that continues to capture the imaginations of modern people. As with any myth or legend, we gain wisdom about ourselves when we endeavor to unearth the symbolic meanings that lie buried beneath the surface. At times, what we find is as frightening as it is illuminating. With the Halloween [...]

Tolkien’s “On Fairy Stories”: The Argument

By |2020-10-30T10:11:20-05:00October 27th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors|

J.R.R. Tolkien proclaimed that fairy—like all mythology—is an expression of our deepest longings and fears. Fairy itself, far from being supernatural, is the most natural of worlds, and reminds us of the deepest truths of existence. For J.R.R. Tolkien, Fairy was a world parallel to ours, embodying many of the rules and norms and ideas [...]

Go to Top