Virgil on Courage

By |2019-05-14T16:11:35-05:00May 14th, 2019|Categories: Aeneas, Character, Heroism, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Virgil|

Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given the gift, not only to peer into the twenty-first century, but to correspond with we who live in that most confusing and rudderless of centuries. Had it been in their [...]

Graduation Day: Do You Want to Change the World?

By |2019-05-14T00:45:01-05:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Across the nation commencement speakers bid the graduates, “Go forth and change the world” or “make a difference.” But should you want to change the world? Parents and Relatives, Fellow Tutors and Mr. President, Board Members and, above all, Santa Fe Seniors and Graduate Institute students! Some of you will remember that radio-telephone distress [...]

The Limits of Liberty

By |2019-05-12T22:25:09-05:00May 12th, 2019|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Civil Society, Freedom, Government, Liberty, Rule of Law, Senior Contributors, Social Order|

While the rule of law is an essential public good, the actual number and extent of laws also are important factors in determining whether there will be liberty—and, indeed, the rule of law itself. Moreover, as too much law undermines freedom and its own proper character, it also tears apart the very fabric of [...]

Faith, Family, and the Future of Europe

By |2019-05-12T00:09:57-05:00May 11th, 2019|Categories: Europe, Faith, Family, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Europe has a suicidal tendency to ignore the problem underlying its decay: a lack of faith and families. But perhaps, in light of recent legislation in Poland and Hungary rooted in faith and family and the future, perhaps we may be seeing the sun rising in Europe’s East, even as we see it setting [...]

Stravinsky’s Other Rite of Spring: “Perséphone”

By |2019-05-11T09:23:26-05:00May 10th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Igor Stravinsky, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

One of my favorite musical works about spring is by Igor Stravinsky, but it’s not the one you would expect—the wild and primal Rite of Spring. Rather it’s his stage piece Perséphone, set to words by the French poet André Gide and retelling through song, ballet, and spoken narration the Greek myth explaining 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 [...]

Seeking the Humane: Big Big Train’s “Grand Tour”

By |2019-05-09T22:58:30-05:00May 9th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Culture, Europe, Music, Senior Contributors|

On its new album, Grand Tour, Big Big Train considers everything from the NASA ship Voyager's leaving the solar system, to the nineteenth-century romantic interpretation of The Tempest, to the meaning of one of the greatest saints of late antiquity, St. Theodora. The album really is about human exploration of self and of world. There [...]

“Parthia Delenda Est”: John Bolton’s War in the Middle East

By |2019-05-08T22:30:50-05:00May 8th, 2019|Categories: Joseph Mussomeli, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Senior Contributors, War|

National Security Advisor John Bolton has thus far failed to maneuver the world into yet another Made-in-America Middle East conflict. Yet he might soon have the justification he wants. In the American lexicon there is never any such thing as wars of aggression. We prefer calling them wars of liberation. This has not been [...]

Herman Melville’s Last Story

By |2019-05-08T10:46:01-05:00May 8th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Great Books, Herman Melville, Literature|

Some would argue that Moby Dick, written at the height of his popularity, is Herman Melville’s best work. But his novella Billy Budd, written in obscurity and published twenty years after his death, just might surpass his early masterpieces for its concise portrayal of humanity. “The author is generally supposed to be dead,” writes [...]

Virgil on Tradition

By |2019-05-08T11:03:05-05:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: Aeneas, Civilization, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Tradition, Virgil, Wisdom|

Citizens of the twenty-first century, learn from us to respect and honor your traditions. You seem so fascinated with novel, untried ideas that you often overlook the wisdom of the past. If we forget that legacy, we cease to be who we are. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other [...]

A Letter to the Seniors

By |2019-05-07T21:33:50-05:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: Character, Culture, Glenn Arbery, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot, Tradition, Virtue, Wyoming Catholic College|

T.S. Eliot reaches into the unsaid, perhaps even into the ultimately unsayable, in a way that makes new possibilities present for those of his own time. Eliot comes out of the great tradition, the long conversation of the West, which is now your own earned inheritance as well. What will you do with it? [...]

Plato’s “Timaeus”: A Unique Universe of Discourse

By |2019-05-06T12:41:15-05:00May 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Plato, St. John's College|

Plato’s Timaeus is less a dialogue than a short tale of antiquity by Critias followed by an account of the cosmos by Timaeus, in which, the question is asked: Why is the greatest philosophical work on the cosmos framed by politics? Before reviewing Peter Kalkavage’s Focus Press translation of the Timaeus, I must, in [...]