A Conversation on the Benedict Option

By |2017-10-28T18:37:03-05:00October 26th, 2017|

What we have to avoid is the sort of thinking that leads to the belief that we’ve lost: the belief that we’ve got to batten down the hatches and try to salvage the remnant that’s left of Christian civilization. We haven’t lost… A few months ago, I gave a couple of talks at a [...]

The Benedict Option & the Barbarians at the Gate

By |2019-01-27T15:30:19-05:00June 25th, 2017|

If we truly desire the Benedict Option, then let us not withdraw from modernity, for strategic retreats easily turn into routs. Let us rather engage our neo-barbarian culture by both cultivating our Benedictine identity when projecting Boniface’s strength. It is the only option… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity [...]

The Dangers of the Benedict Option

By |2017-08-04T14:45:08-05:00May 15th, 2017|

If there was someone who did not exercise the Benedict Option, it was Saint Benedict himself. The problem with the Benedict Option is that it does not have the substance, unity, and goal of the Benedictine ideal that set the world on fire with the love of God… No one disputes the attractiveness of [...]

A Pilgrimage with Dante: Europe and Disneyland

By |2015-03-07T17:48:34-05:00March 7th, 2015|Tags: |

Thoughtful U.S. travelers approach Europe with a sense of pietas. Europe is no Disneyland but the home of our fathers. That’s the attitude I take, anyway, and never did I feel more pious, in the classical sense, than on this recent trip to Florence. Within the previous year, discovering the Divine Comedy of Dante [...]

Encountering Dante

By |2019-01-04T14:12:21-05:00December 2nd, 2014|Tags: |

I was late coming to Dante. Never read him in high school or college, and after my formal education ended with my bachelor’s degree, why on earth would I have bothered? As a professional journalist, I read voraciously, but a seven-hundred-year-old poem by a medieval Catholic was not high on my list. And then, [...]

Roger Scruton on Modern Political Conservatism

By |2017-06-22T13:22:49-05:00October 18th, 2014|

  From a fascinating interview with Roger Scruton in Prospect: Related to this is the emphasis you place on what you call the “first-person plural,” a phrase that occurs several times in the book.Yes. Ultimately, political order does not generate itself. For that reason, social contract theories are suspended in mid-air, so to speak. All political order [...]

Following the Footsteps of Dante’s Paradiso

By |2014-10-04T12:37:09-05:00October 4th, 2014|

I told my wife the other day that blogging these last few cantos of Paradiso feels like trying to scale the sheer summit of a mountain. This is hard stuff! But, we press on. I’m dedicated to finishing blogging Inferno before I leave for Florence at month’s end. First, we have to finish Paradiso. I’m thinking that [...]

Story Lines, Not Party Lines

By |2018-11-05T18:01:23-05:00August 8th, 2013|Tags: |

Here’s a story for you. For years I devoted much of my journalism—op-eds, blogs, even a book about cultural politics—to lamenting the rootlessness of American life and prescribing solutions for it from within the conservative intellectual tradition. Yet I never quite found the wherewithal to live as I preached. It’s as if I didn’t [...]

The Rout Of Traditionalist Conservatism

By |2014-01-05T20:46:56-05:00November 17th, 2012|Tags: |

Russell Kirk In his column, David Brooks cites Russell Kirk’s Ten Principles of Conservative Thought, and reflects on how American conservatism has left Kirkian traditionalist conservatism in the ditch. Excerpt: The economic conservatives were in charge of the daring ventures that produced economic growth. The traditionalists were in charge of establishing the secure [...]