Russell Kirk, Sage of Piety Hill: Planting Seeds for Generations to Come

By |2019-06-13T11:30:18-05:00October 19th, 2018|Categories: Barbara J. Elliott, Conservatism, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk|

Russell and Annette Kirk with the author Driving across the snowy landscape of Michigan the day after Christmas in 1973, I was somewhat apprehensive. I had been invited to take part in the first seminar of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in the ancestral home of Dr. Russell Kirk at Piety Hill. We were [...]

The Moral Imagination & Imaginative Conservatism

By |2018-11-21T08:38:39-05:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, E.B., Edmund Burke, Eva Brann, Imagination, Jane Austen, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Moral Imagination|

Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism… The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006) The Moral Imagination is a very engaging collection of a dozen essays on a dozen [...]

Russell Kirk and the Moral Imagination

By |2018-10-17T15:14:55-05:00April 16th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Imagination, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

The “moral imagination” goes beyond our personal, individual experiences to help us fathom the depths of human dignity in light of God’s creation… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Robert Stacey as he explores the moral imagination, as understood by Russell Kirk, and it’s role in [...]

Russell Kirk on the Moral Imagination

By |2019-03-19T11:11:55-05:00January 28th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Civilization, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, Film, Moral Imagination, RAK, Russell Kirk|

The principal difficulty of mankind today is the decay of the moral imagination in our civilization… In the spring of 1989, videographer Ken Martinek and I made the trip to Piety Hill to interview Russell about the moral imagination (as first conceived by Edmund Burke and expanded by Dr. Kirk). This concept had held [...]

Liberal Learning, Moral Worth, and Defecated Rationality

By |2019-01-10T13:56:50-05:00January 7th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Moral Imagination, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

At best, what the typical college has offered its students, in recent decades, has been defecated rationality. By that term I mean a narrow rationalism or logicalism, purged of theology, moral philosophy, symbol and allegory, tradition, reverence, and the wisdom of our ancestors. This defecated rationality is the exalting of private judgment and hedonism [...]

The Achievement of Russell Kirk

By |2018-01-01T12:15:33-05:00December 31st, 2017|Categories: Books, Conservatism, History, Imagination, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk|Tags: , |

According to Russell Kirk, the moral imagination is the power of knowing man, despite his weaknesses and sinful nature, as a moral being, meant for eternity. It recognizes that human beings, after all, are created in the image of God… Russell Kirk and the Age of Ideology by W. Wesley McDonald (264 pages, University of [...]

Why We Need to Read Literature

By |2017-12-07T21:54:27-05:00December 7th, 2017|Categories: Education, Great Books, Imagination, Liberal Learning, Literature, Moral Imagination|

Literature is delightful. It’s wondrous, exciting, and often terrifying fun. It offers us escape without the cost of a plane ticket, adventure without deadlines or endpoints. It’s spontaneous and soul-searching, lengthy and pointed, poignant and hilarious... College is full of books: textbooks and biographies, encyclopedias and novels, history books and essays. You finish your Epic of [...]

The Moral Imagination of “Leave It to Beaver”

By |2017-10-19T10:15:15-05:00October 12th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Family, Marriage, Moral Imagination, Morality, Russell Kirk|

Leave It to Beaver was very much a medieval morality play, in which the character of the Beaver repeatedly succumbed to temptation, suffered the consequences, and was guided back on the path of virtue… Russell Kirk defined the moral imagination as “an enduring source of inspiration that elevates us to first principles as it [...]

Restoring Poetic Vision in a Myopic Age

By |2018-11-05T19:28:25-05:00September 8th, 2017|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Art, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Culture, Flannery O'Connor, Homer, Imagination, Literature, Moral Imagination, Truth|

In a distorted world, the Christian poet is ultimately like the blind man whose vision Christ restored to see truth through grace, and those who read the poet’s words will find their vision restored as well… Editor’s Note: This essay was originally given as a part of a lecture series for the Cambridge School [...]

George Panichas, the Moral Imagination, & the Conservative Mind

By |2019-06-17T17:13:20-05:00August 31st, 2017|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Conservatism, Featured, George A. Panichas, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk|Tags: , |

There is a divine order of being of which we must be a part. To reject this order and our part therein is to choose madness and make any decent life impossible. As a literary critic, George Panichas shed great light on the relationship between this recognition of the order of being and our ability [...]

What If? The Moral Imagination of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

By |2017-08-31T12:02:36-05:00July 27th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Charity, Christianity, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Film, Moral Imagination, Senior Contributors|

The story of Beauty and the Beast is the oldest story in the Christian world. It’s the story about love, sacrifice, and redemption… Several nights ago, I reluctantly watched Disney’s 2017 live version of Beauty and the Beast. I must admit three things before I get into the heart of this essay. First, I’ve [...]

Awakening the Moral Imagination

By |2017-02-28T00:00:18-05:00February 27th, 2017|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Moral Imagination, Myth, Timeless Essays|

The beauty of fairy tales is their ability to attractively depict character and virtue. Goodness glimmers while wickedness and deception are unmasked… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Vigen Guroian as he explores the benefits fairy tales afford children. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher The notion that fairy [...]

Edmund Burke, Providence, & Archaism

By |2018-10-16T20:24:12-05:00January 11th, 2017|Categories: Books, Edmund Burke, Moral Imagination, RAK, Russell Kirk|

Practical politics, Edmund Burke knew, is the art of the possible. We cannot alter singlehandedly the climate of opinion, or the institutions of our day, by a haughty adherence to inflexible and abstract doctrines… The Political Reason of Edmund Burke, by Francis Canavan (S.J. Duke University Press, 1960) Edmund Burke and Ireland, by Thomas [...]