Listening to the Bible With David Suchet

By |2021-05-01T21:32:47-05:00May 1st, 2021|Categories: Beauty, Christian Living, Christianity, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

In hearing the Bible read, the Word takes flesh before us and changes the souls of those who hear it. David Suchet’s delivery in his audiobook version combines force and gentleness. Never do you sense that he is simply doing a celebrity gig, or offering the Bible as a literary monument; he truly believes in [...]

Music in the Life of Thomas Jefferson

By |2021-04-12T18:33:25-05:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

Music held a notable place within Thomas Jefferson's cultured and humanistic life—a point reinforced by his insistence on having music instruction at his newly founded University of Virginia. This shows the importance Jefferson placed on music in the life of the mind, just as his involvement with music throughout his life enhances his image as [...]

Faith, Reason, and Eternal Happiness

By |2021-04-02T15:04:16-05:00April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Faith, Michael De Sapio, Reason, Senior Contributors, St. Thomas Aquinas|

In “Theology: Mythos or Logos?” John Médaille accuses Thomas Aquinas of posing a quarrel between faith and reason, a separation that has had baleful consequences in Western culture. However, the problem that troubles Mr. Médaille appears not to be a problem if we examine the text of the “Summa” more closely. In a previous essay [...]

What Does Music Express?

By |2021-03-04T16:10:52-06:00March 4th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Music is a constant part of our lives, yet its nature remains elusive. We tend to take music for granted, like any product or commodity, not realizing what a strange phenomenon and unusual gift it is. Aristotle acknowledged as much: “It is not easy to determine the nature of music or why anyone should have [...]

Is Christianity a Story?

By |2021-02-01T20:41:07-06:00February 2nd, 2021|Categories: Books, Christianity, Faith, Michael De Sapio, Myth, Reason, Senior Contributors, Theology|

If we accept that Christianity is a story, emphasize the primacy of faith, and deemphasize historical testimony, are we not merely reduced to telling our different stories, without being able to point to anything as having compelling objective truth? The mythopoetic appeal of Christianity is strong and valid. Yet there has to be something that [...]

The Fine Art of the Essay

By |2021-01-13T15:01:11-06:00January 13th, 2021|Categories: Books, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Writing|

Joseph Epstein’s life and writing exemplify the ideal essay writer’s tendency to be a humane generalist rather than an academic specialist. Aiming at well-roundedness, the essayist also becomes freed from vogue words and jargon, a bad influence against which Mr. Epstein campaigns vigorously and wittily in “Gallimaufry: A Collection of Essays, Reviews, Bits.” Gallimaufry: A [...]

What Does It Mean to Be a Person of Culture?

By |2021-04-25T17:28:27-05:00January 1st, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Liberal Learning, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

True culture is a liberation from the ephemeral, a journey toward permanence and value. A cultured life, therefore, consists in more than just piling up facts; it must include reflecting on the meaning of man’s works—especially those works which have stood the test time—and how they fit into the larger scheme of reality. Attempts to [...]

“The Trial at Rouen”: An Opera on St. Joan of Arc

By |2021-01-08T16:34:19-06:00December 22nd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Opera, Senior Contributors|

The mid-twentieth-century opera, “The Trial at Rouen,” tells the story of the final days of St. Joan of Arc, her imprisonment, and trial for heresy. Composer Norman Dello Joio employs themes of conscience, belief, and spiritual motivation; he makes us think about the consequences of institutional corruption and the power of individuals to rise above [...]

Music for All Time: Reflections on Beethoven’s Legacy to Us

By |2021-03-25T07:53:51-05:00December 15th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Michael De Sapio, Music, Paul Krause, Stephen M. Klugewicz|Tags: , |

"This wasn't written for you!" Beethoven once stormed at string players who complained that one of his quartets was impossible to play. "It was meant for a later age!" And so all Beethoven's works are. They are, indeed, music for all time. Please enjoy this symposium on Ludwig van Beethoven, with contributions from our distinguished [...]

Prayer, Beauty, and Civilization

By |2020-11-21T10:16:29-06:00November 21st, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Imagination, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

In our zeal to articulate how Christianity has shaped civilization, we are apt to neglect the specific role of prayer. The good, the true, and the beautiful fostered by our civilization have been initiated and sustained by prayer. If one does not pray, what measure of human cultivation is one missing? Art and Prayer: The [...]

Beethoven’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage”

By |2020-11-10T16:36:22-06:00November 10th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music|

In his short, neglected masterpiece, "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage," Beethoven—who himself never traveled by sea nor left continental Europe—created a tone poem that reflects the Romantic awe of storms and the sublimity of God-in-nature. It also reflects, on a miniature scale, Beethoven's own story of suffering and transcendence. Those who have read previous essays [...]

Death and Transfiguration

By |2020-10-05T12:00:21-05:00November 1st, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Death, Hope, Michael De Sapio, Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Dealing with the topic of death, Dietrich von Hildebrand’s consoling book “Jaws of Death: Gate of Heaven” shines both in its “dark” and “light” halves, illuminating the eternal duality of human life and helping to reconcile its painful contradictions. Life is not a journey of diminishing returns, ending in darkness and the grave, but a [...]

The Mystique of Late Beethoven

By |2020-10-09T08:54:26-05:00October 8th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music|

Beethoven's late style was not a total break from what came before. Many things touted as revolutionary are really, when seen in proper perspective, evolutionary. Beethoven’s late period intensifies qualities inherent in all his previous work. It is filled with music that is warm-hearted, impassioned, and of breathtaking beauty. “The music is not pretty or [...]

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