Nock and Nisbet on Society and State

By |2020-09-04T15:20:28-05:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Community, Culture, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Social Institutions|

As Albert Jay Nock argued in the 1930s, and Robert Nisbet in the 1960s, the state plays a zero-sum game: It desires to assume all power over society, even to the point of taking the place of the Church as the glue that holds all together, and thus it renders society obsolete in the [...]

Reflections on Tocqueville: The Pervasiveness of Equality

By |2020-08-31T14:44:00-05:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Democracy, Democracy in America, Equality, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

To this day, though America has changed in size, shape, demographics, and technology, “Democracy in America” remains the single finest description of the American experiment. Introducing his work to the world, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that nothing struck him more than the pervasiveness of the idea of equality in the United States. Alexis de [...]

The True, the Good, and the Ugly in “Till We Have Faces”

By |2020-09-01T11:31:32-05:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christine Norvell, Literature, Love, Myth, Senior Contributors|

In the midst of a dream, Orual’s doubts are finally answered by the gods. Once Psyche gives her the gift of beauty, and the God of the mountain appears and speaks to her, her ugliness is washed away. It takes all of Orual’s life to come to this point of faith and cleansing, and [...]

Remembering the Normal

By |2020-08-31T15:05:43-05:00August 31st, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Community, Glenn Arbery, Happiness, Nature, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

As this strange summer of a strange year comes to an end, I am reminded of ordinary realities and experiences that now appear in a new light. At our college, classes started back up, and I cannot recall a happier sense of new beginning, partly because this, too, has been defamiliarized. On Sunday of [...]

Instant Justice Is No Justice

By |2020-08-30T16:18:23-05:00August 30th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, David Deavel, Rule of Law|

Until our elected officials, media, and “activists” stop rendering sentences on the basis of assumed verdicts garnered from piecing together a few time-bound, one-sided video clips and a truckload of assumptions about a “racist” or “white supremacist” country, we will not wake up from an increasingly horrific national nightmare for Americans of every race, creed, [...]

Going to Heaven With C.S. Lewis

By |2020-08-30T16:15:53-05:00August 30th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Heaven, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors|

As with Dante’s glimpse of the beatific vision in the final Canto of the “Divine Comedy,” we are all ultimately rendered speechless in the presence of ineffable Beatitude. We do not have the words to describe the Word. And yet Lewis gives us in the final lines of “The Last Battle” glimpses of glory [...]

“The Cross and the Lynching Tree”: Race and Religion

By |2020-08-29T10:56:38-05:00August 29th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Equality, Religion, Senior Contributors|

James Cone’s “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” is a passionate and excellent contribution to the discussion of race and religion from the perspective of African-American believers and should help white Christians to see the world from the viewpoint of their black brothers and sisters. The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James Cone [...]

God Said; We Say

By |2020-08-27T16:04:57-05:00August 28th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, George Stanciu, Language, Nature, Order, Science, Senior Contributors|

Language is at the heart of Creation. Because we are created in the image of God who spoke and created intelligible matter, our language mirrors Creation in a hazy, incomplete way. Our speech calls into existence names and creates a narrative to link together our experiences in a coherent way. A life without words [...]

Robert Nisbet’s 11 Tenets of Conservatism

By |2020-08-27T17:19:55-05:00August 27th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Community, Conservatism, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Though less poetic than Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet has as much right to be considered a “father of post-war conservatism” as does his Michiganian ally—especially given the timing of his eleven tenets of conservatism. Indeed, his ideas about society and the social relations of man are thoughtful and inspiring. Though conservatism arose as a [...]

The Sociological Roots of Robert Nisbet’s Conservatism

By |2020-08-27T13:01:43-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

Robert A. Nisbet rooted his eleven ideas of conservatism in contributions from sociology as an academic discipline. Sociology, in contrast to liberalism and radicalism, had merely focused on the aspect of being social and had thus best reflected the more obscure aspects of nineteenth-century conservatism. That conservatism, though, reflected some of the most important [...]

Going to Hell and Purgatory With C.S. Lewis

By |2020-08-20T16:32:43-05:00August 23rd, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Heaven, Joseph Pearce, Literature|

C.S. Lewis depicts Hell in "The Great Divorce" as the Grey City, a place where Pride is given enough rope and spends eternity hanging itself. The damned get everything they want by just imagining it, which seems like “heaven,” which is why they don’t desire to leave. In last week’s essay I surveyed the manner [...]

The “Leatherstocking Tales” and the American Frontier

By |2020-08-21T14:20:39-05:00August 21st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, American West, Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, History, Literature, Republicans, Senior Contributors|

James Fenimore Cooper’s depiction of the frontier, as expressed in the “Leatherstocking Tales,” transcends race and sex. The frontier can make anyone a true American—noble, liberty-loving, and virtuous. Ultimately, “Americanness” is individual and cultural; it is based on virtue and merit. 1822-1827: Republicanism and the American Frontier With his third novel, The Pioneers, James [...]

Science and the Beauty of Being

By |2020-08-18T14:28:37-05:00August 19th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Glenn Arbery, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Omissions of formal and final causes in the modern scientific project lead to a sense of meaninglessness. Bringing them back allows a crucial reinterpretation of the evidence of modern science: that matter carries within it its own divine purposiveness, and it moves by its nature into greater and greater complexities of order and beauty. [...]

Another Lockdown? For the Sake of Our Health, No!

By |2020-08-18T17:02:55-05:00August 18th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Civilization, Community, Coronavirus, David Deavel, Economics, Senior Contributors|

The idea that a second lockdown, more severe than the first and on a national basis, would not cause more damage than it prevents is sheer fantasy. COVID poses health risks to a particular portion of the population. Lockdowns pose a risk to everybody—both economically and physically. Many people have talked about the death [...]

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