Senior Contributors

Learning to Love Again: Dante’s Descent in the “Inferno”

By |2019-11-27T20:57:22-06:00December 4th, 2019|Categories: Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

That there is much depth to Dante’s “Inferno” is an understatement, and the poet’s descent into the abyss is perplexing at first glance. However, by invoking the muses of poetry and in being guided by Virgil, Dante tips his hand and reveals to the astute reader that the journey into—and through—hell will require the flowering [...]

The Romantic Theology of Charles Williams

By |2019-12-04T21:15:06-06:00December 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Culture, Inklings, Love, Marriage, Religion, Senior Contributors, Theology|

Just as we consume the Eucharist at Mass, recognizing the holiness of the act, so some marriages become profound examples and witnesses of holiness. By habit and faith, Charles Williams contended, the serious Christian begins to see all meals as a shadow of the Eucharist and all love as a shadow of Holy Matrimony. [...]

Twelve Books for Christmas

By |2019-12-03T14:17:31-06:00December 3rd, 2019|Categories: Books, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

It’s that time again. Another year is wending its way to a close and we’re all preoccupied with preparations for Christmas. This being so, I thought I’d offer my personal selection of books, published in 2019, which I feel would make good gifts for those imaginative conservatives in our lives. […]

Chaucer on Influence

By |2019-12-02T23:45:02-06:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Geoffrey Chaucer, Great Books, Imagination, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

Though fate is strong, there is a First Mover who transcends the revolutions of Fortune’s Wheel. In our world of perpetual change, all is in flux; even the mightiest tree will someday fall and the broadest river turn to dust. Yet the First Cause rises above these temporal twists and turns. Author’s Introduction: Imagine [...]

Jacob Klein: European Scholar and American Teacher

By |2019-12-02T23:47:19-06:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Jacob Klein, Meno, Plato, St. John's College|

Jacob Klein presents the model of teaching best fitting a stable community of liberal learning. He was a master of the somewhat mysterious art of leading from behind—by solicitous listening, by intimating questions, even by expectant silence. The subtitle of my talk might be “Liberal Education: Program and/or Pedagogy?” The reason is that I think of [...]

Living in the Same Spiritual World: C.S. Lewis & Charles Williams

By |2019-12-01T22:01:42-06:00December 1st, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Christianity, Imagination, Inklings, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Charles Williams joined the Inklings immediately after Oxford University Press moved its offices from London to Oxford because of the war with Germany. Though C.S. Lewis found Williams’ work compelling, even life-changing, the other members expressed doubts. “I had a pleasant evening on Thursday with Williams, Tolkien, and Wrenn, during which Wrenn expressed ALMOST [...]

Litany of the Lost

By |2019-11-29T11:04:59-06:00November 29th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Cold War, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization|

Written in the after-shock of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Siegfried Sassoon’s “Litany of the Lost” laments the dehumanizing and destructive effects of technology. If Sassoon emerges as something of a prophet in the lines of this poem, he is something of a prophet at a loss. Who exactly is to deliver us from ourselves? We [...]

HAL Unplugged: Fear, Terror, and Salvation in Science Fiction

By |2019-11-21T15:21:51-06:00November 28th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Film, Modernity, Paul Krause, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology|

Deep in the wellspring of science fiction is the ongoing struggle between mechanical monsters and holistic heroes. From bleak and dour tales of extermination and human destruction, to optimistic but nevertheless struggling and pathological battles to save life, science fiction has been battling with our modern monsters from the id boiling up inside of [...]

Mortimer Adler & the Context of an Educational Philosophy

By |2019-11-29T12:25:56-06:00November 28th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Education, Liberal Arts, Mortimer Adler, Senior Contributors|

Robert Woods’s “Mortimer Adler: The Paideia Way of Classical Education” embodies the life and educational philosophy of one education reformer. Though intended to be informative, most chapters are akin to an educator’s devotional, leaving the teacher inspired to be a more thoughtful and focused Christian tutor. Mortimer Adler: The Paideia Way of Classical Education, by [...]

The Grace of Owing

By |2019-11-28T00:46:38-06:00November 27th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Arts, Senior Contributors, Thanksgiving, Wyoming Catholic College|

To be truly grateful means that one holds oneself in the grace of owing. It means alert and noble attention to the good intended by the giver. Giving thanks is such a beautifully natural gesture that it seems almost perverse to admire someone for not making it. But Dr. Samuel Johnson earns such admiration [...]

Triumph: How Two Dutch Girls Survived World War II

By |2019-11-26T22:10:06-06:00November 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Film, Michael De Sapio, World War II|

In "Dutch Girl," Robert Matzen describes how the young Audrey Hepburn survived both famine and fighting in World War II. But what brings this history home for me personally is the connection with a third woman, less well-known, who also lived in Holland during those times. I feel a special interest in her story since [...]

Chaucer on Variety

By |2019-11-25T23:09:51-06:00November 25th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

True pilgrimage is a communal undertaking: a temporary society on the move. Rather than turn inward in search of enlightenment, turn outward toward your companions and learn to see the world through their eyes. Learn to get along with people whose passions, beliefs, and strategies for survival are radically different from your own. Author’s Introduction: [...]

Pre-Socratics or First Philosophers?

By |2019-11-25T23:33:00-06:00November 25th, 2019|Categories: Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Heraclitus, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Socrates, St. John's College|

The Pre-Socratics may be thought of as deficient, lacking something, primitive in the derogatory sense. But there is also the opposite perspective: These men were not primitive, without sophistication, but primeval, deeper, more receptive to origins. Think how peculiar this appellation is: “Pre-Socratics.” A whole slew of thinkers, poetical, aphoristic, prosaic—condemned to be known as [...]

The Business of America: Economy and Society During the 1920s

By |2019-11-24T21:45:26-06:00November 24th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Economic History, Economics, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

During the 1920s, America made the first excursion into mass affluence in the history of the world. However, the ethic of consumption that reached its apex in the 1920s fomented a subtle transformation not only of the American economy but also of American culture. I Long considered the haven of corrupt public officials and [...]