Senior Contributors

Was Thomas Jefferson a Philosopher?

By |2019-10-22T21:16:55-05:00October 22nd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson is a kind of incarnate compendium of the Enlightenment. His remarkable openness to its spirit is the philosophical counterpart to his political sensitivity in making himself “a passive auditor of the opinions of others,” so as to catch the “harmonizing sentiments of the day” and to incorporate them into a document that [...]

Conservative Credo

By |2019-10-22T05:39:23-05:00October 21st, 2019|Categories: Barbara J. Elliott, Conservatism, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

The conservative believes that that the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are interrelated, and that all things are measured against these three transcendentals. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Barbara J. Elliott, as she considers and outlines the framework of Conservatism. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher [...]

“Beowulf” and the Men of the Twilight

By |2019-10-20T22:16:00-05:00October 20th, 2019|Categories: Beowulf, Beowulf Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors|

The “Beowulf” poem, J.R.R. Tolkien stressed, is fundamentally about the very nature of heroism. Beowulf is, of course, a “noble pagan.” Given such a consideration, questions arise: Does he advance only his own will, or does he take into account God’s grace? Can true heroism even exist in a Christian world of grace, or must [...]

The Radical Equality of Christianity

By |2019-10-20T00:12:23-05:00October 19th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Equality, Religion, Senior Contributors|

In our world of recriminating hatreds—in which we desire more to label those we don’t like as sexist, imperialist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and, simultaneously, mark ourselves as victims—we often forget some important historical truths. Here’s one we conveniently ignore, dismiss, or mock: Nothing in the world has brought about more equality and justice than [...]

The Beauty and Mystery of the Unaccompanied Violin

By |2019-10-17T22:30:03-05:00October 17th, 2019|Categories: Culture, J.S. Bach, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Playing violin unaccompanied is the most exposed sort of music-making, with a vulnerability that is both technical and emotional. Its music seems to bring out a personal quality in composers that one doesn’t always get from music for large forces. The purity of the medium and its limitations call forth a challenge to the [...]

Seeing the West as a Millstone: Sketches of Solzhenitsyn in Exile

By |2019-10-16T22:43:39-05:00October 16th, 2019|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Conservatism, Democracy, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Political Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

“Sketches of Exile” is a real gift for those who admire Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, enabling us to see his first years of exile, in Switzerland and the United States, through his eyes. We should be grateful for these sketches and the insight they offer, as well as for their glimpses of the lovable man behind the [...]

Fate and Will in Tolkien’s “Beowulf”

By |2019-10-18T17:12:40-05:00October 15th, 2019|Categories: Beowulf, Beowulf Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors|

Arguably one of the finest stories in the Western Tradition, “Beowulf” concerns the advent of a hero and his timely end. Throughout, questions of fate, free will, good, and evil predominate. Most prominent, though, are the theological questions of will and grace, one pagan and the other Christian. In 1926, when merely a thirty-four [...]

Soul, World, and Idea: Interpreting Plato

By |2019-10-14T12:30:22-05:00October 14th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Phaedo, Philosophy, Plato, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

“To save the phenomena” of heavenly motions by undergirding them with rational, that is, mathematical, hypotheses—that is said to be the problem Plato set for astronomers in a passage from the “Republic” frequently referenced by Daniel Sherman. His own project is, as I understand it, the inverse one: to save the Platonic ideas by [...]

Dante on Jealousy

By |2019-10-14T22:17:54-05:00October 14th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

Too many of your theologians and preachers have rejected an aspect of God that is made clear in the scriptures: our God is a jealous God. And you’ve rejected it, not because you have disproved it, but because you are embarrassed by it. You simply cannot imagine that God could have anything in common with [...]

How America Went to War Against Itself

By |2019-10-15T10:06:04-05:00October 13th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, George Stanciu, Government, Politics, Senior Contributors, War|

That Americans cannot reach consensus on gun control, immigration policy, and climate change are symptoms of societal collapse, not from physical causes, such as the mindless destruction of a vital resource or a colder climate, but rather the splitting of a people’s storytelling into two opposed morality plays. The stable standoff between these two stories [...]

St. Augustine and J.R.R. Tolkien

By |2019-10-14T10:03:55-05:00October 13th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, StAR, Timeless Essays|

As with St. Augustine as the barbarians tore through Rome’s gate on August 24, 410, at midnight, J.R.R. Tolkien looked out over a ruined world: a world on one side controlled by ideologues, and, consequently, a world of the Gulag, the Holocaust camps, the Killing fields, and total war; on the other: a world [...]

Saint John Henry Newman, Sacramental Economist

By |2019-10-13T09:17:15-05:00October 12th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Catholicism, Christianity, David Deavel, Economics, Senior Contributors, St. John Henry Newman, Virtue|

John Henry Newman wished people to flee from the love of money, but he didn’t wish them to stop making it. He wished them to flee similarly from love of erudition for its own sake, but he didn’t want them to stop loving the Lord with mind as well as heart, soul, and strength. [...]