Dwight Longenecker

Listening to “East Coker”

By |2019-08-31T20:59:12-05:00August 31st, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “East Coker” relies more explicitly on personal references than his earlier work. It is as if the mask has fallen. The poet is humbler and more vulnerable. The poem expands his meditation into a wider consideration of time and eternity, destiny and desire. In the introduction to this five part series I [...]

Listening to “Burnt Norton”

By |2019-08-24T23:50:26-05:00August 24th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s visit to the garden at Burnt Norton, and his musings with Emily Hale about a love and life together that never happened, lead to a broader contemplation on the nature of time, free will, and human choice, culminating in the first poem of the "Four Quartets." I’m using the word “listening” in this [...]

Listening to “Four Quartets”

By |2019-08-17T16:18:15-05:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Mystery, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” is highly personal, uniquely-fashioned religious poetry. This wordless realm into which Eliot takes us is the region of dreams, the numinous, the collective unconscious. He wishes us to plunge into the experience instead of simply pondering the meaning. I first read T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets as an undergraduate and was [...]

The Batman and Tolkien’s Batman

By |2019-08-01T23:45:27-05:00August 1st, 2019|Categories: Christian Humanism, Dwight Longenecker, Fiction, Heroism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Superheroes|

While we continue to marvel at the steady stream of superheroes being pumped out in comics and movies, I am more interested in ordinary heroes. The ordinary hero is the man or woman behind the scenes. They are the ones who play the steady, supporting role. Natural second fiddles, they are the loyal retainers [...]

Escaping From Myself

By |2019-07-27T08:55:07-05:00July 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

This summer, two books got me because they took me outside myself: Danusha Goska’s “God Through Binoculars” and Sam Davidson’s “Love’s Many Names.” Both authors write truth from the heart, and both books are refreshing and heart-inspiring reads. Books should take you outside yourself. They should introduce you to new people, new worlds, new [...]

All Is Not Lost: Reason, Faith, & Western Civilization

By |2019-07-22T09:32:26-05:00July 20th, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Christendom, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Samuel Gregg’s “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization” is a brilliant meditation on the reasons for the rise of the West, more triumphantly known as “Christendom.” He argues that for the West to survive, we must first acknowledge and then return to valuing its Christian foundation. But does history indicate that going [...]

Does the “i” in iPhone Stand for “Idol”?

By |2019-07-11T19:00:40-05:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Apple, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology|

Instead of carved statues of Adonis or Venus, we have created for each person his own hand-held idol, designed with amazing ingenuity and carved with utmost skill from precious materials. Each one of us has a little god who offers us the world in the palm of our hand. While I was reading from [...]

Downton Abbey and the Catholic Church

By |2019-06-29T23:27:32-05:00June 29th, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Senior Contributors|

Like the Catholic Church, Downton Abbey is full of treasures. It is a splendid old mansion with many rooms, and did not our Lord himself say that “in my Father’s house are many rooms?” Like the Church it is a place of timeless wonder, splendor, beauty, and truth. Various metaphors for the Catholic Church [...]

Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and Flannery O’Connor

By |2019-06-21T17:03:57-05:00June 21st, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Flannery O'Connor, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Quentin Tarentino’s film “Pulp Fiction” and Flannery O’Connor’s stories smell of nihilism. But at the end of the film, and at the end of O’Connor’s stories, the light of Providence glimmers tantalizingly. So there was a meaning after all! But it was not the meaning I was expecting. Pulp Fiction is the violent, witty, [...]

The Domestic Monastery: The Rule of Saint Benedict

By |2019-05-25T22:40:59-05:00May 25th, 2019|Categories: Books, Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, St. Benedict|

Whatever a person’s place in life, Saint Benedict offers a “little Rule for beginners.” The principles of the spiritual life which he sets down put us down firmly in life right where we are. By paralleling family and monastery, today’s reader can glean simple yet practical wisdom for, as well as extraordinary insight into, the [...]

Death and Deception: “Longford” and “Dead Man Walking”

By |2019-05-11T09:20:47-05:00May 10th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Death, Dwight Longenecker, Evil, Film, Justice|

While the films “Longford” and “Dead Man Walking” are ostensibly about the death penalty, the real value of both films is their profound exploration of the depth of human evil. On June 7, 1998 a Texan, John William King, along with friends Shawn Berry and Lawrence Brewer, killed African American James Byrd. They beat [...]

The Importance of the Underworld

By |2019-05-04T16:07:44-05:00May 4th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Heroism, Myth, Senior Contributors|

The mythic theme of descent to the underworld is virtually universal. The hero journeys to the underworld to confront the monster, then returns with the prize. That the hero must go down into the depths to battle the dark forces seems written into the very fabric of human psychology. During a vacation to Belize [...]

The Politics of Resentment and Revenge

By |2019-04-27T21:47:07-05:00April 27th, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Community, Dwight Longenecker, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Social Order|

It seems as if the cycle of Resentment and Revenge is so fundamental to human nature that it cannot be cured by humanistic solutions—but could it be countered by the theological virtues? What’s wrong with the world? Chesterton famously said, “I am, yours sincerely G.K. Chesterton.” However, two thinkers can help us understand the [...]