The Realities of “Nightmare City”

By |2015-05-22T08:54:40-05:00May 21st, 2015|

In literary terms, Gothic typically refers to that frame of mind and soul that embraces the strange, the mysterious, and the irrational—specifically, terror. Gothic novels are often set in the dark and in the wild. This is what one encounters in Andrew Klavan’s most recent novel. As I consider this novel written for a [...]

Faith, Hope, and Love in a Culture of Death: The Giver

By |2014-10-02T15:57:24-05:00September 3rd, 2014|

Let’s begin with the film’s single greatest obstacle: the culture Philip Rieff described as “the death culture” is not likely to assemble en masse to pay for viewing a morality tale. A central message in this film is that we have become “shadows.” Indeed, those immersed in our death culture do not likely have [...]

If Dostoevsky Had Written Science Fiction

By |2019-02-12T17:58:15-05:00July 28th, 2014|Tags: |

Sounding like a modern, the Greek writer Callimachus once penned an epigram where he quipped, “a large book is a great misfortune.” Does not the legitimacy of such an assertion depend on the author and the reader? Novelist Michael O’Brien gives all lovers of fine novels another marvelously large book. As one who enjoys [...]

Resistance is Futile? Battling the Cultural Borg

By |2014-09-22T14:35:52-05:00November 4th, 2013|

I have never concealed the truth that I am a Trekkie. Additionally, I have never hidden my conviction that I am a traditionalist and a conservative in the way defined by Russell Kirk. While there are thematic and ideological elements worthy of criticism in the Star Trek worldview, there is much that can be [...]

Humanities As A Way of Knowing

By |2015-08-14T07:40:41-05:00October 26th, 2013|

Mortimer Adler For years, I would begin my Introduction to Humanities course by trying to clear up some muddled ideas about the term humanities. Of course, most of my students did not get the weightiness of the lecture. For them, Introduction to Humanities was merely a course in the core that was [...]

Insights on the Government Shutdown from Thucydides

By |2015-05-19T23:18:57-05:00October 16th, 2013|Tags: |

And if we should know what government is, we should observe, in Thucydides' laconic account of the revolution at Corcyra, what happens when it fails.– Stringfellow Barr Most keen observers would say that our government has been in failure mode for a number of decades, and this is not easily refuted on empirical grounds. Readers of [...]

Thinking Christianly About the Liberal Arts

By |2013-12-01T22:04:49-05:00September 18th, 2013|

Tertullian The incarnation calls us to the things of this world. So when we consider the following quotes about the liberal arts we must begin and end there: What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?– Tertullian “What has Ingeld to do with Christ”?– Alcuin (when catching some monks reading Beowulf) What has Horace to [...]

A Case for the Quaint: The Great Ideas Program

By |2019-01-24T11:59:48-05:00August 25th, 2013|

Robert Hutchins Studying and leading conversations on the Great Books for more than twenty years still produces that sense of awe and wonder, especially when I discover a new tool to aide in the exploration of wisdom.  Unfortunately, this excitement is often curtailed when I engage many of those within the academy. [...]

Wisely Reading The Adages of Erasmus in Foolish Times

By |2016-10-14T08:32:22-05:00July 26th, 2013|Tags: |

Reading wisdom literature in any age is wise. Reading wise sayings in a foolish age will mark one quickly as a contrarian, but being wise where folly is as pervasive as oxygen is essential for survival. Of all the gifts that Desiderius Erasmus passed on to western civilization, his collection of adages (The Adages [...]

A Eulogy for the Liberal Arts?

By |2015-01-07T14:19:32-05:00July 12th, 2013|Tags: |

[The following are responses by Brad Birzer, Robert Woods, Lou Markos and Andrew Seeley to a New York Times op-ed by David Brooks. Mr. Brooks offered a heartfelt quasi-eulogy for the liberal arts. The original essay may be found here.] Brad Birzer For those of us who have been blessed to be [...]

Andrew Klavan’s “If We Survive”….A Political Morality Tale

By |2016-02-12T15:28:23-05:00June 16th, 2013|Tags: , |

Andrew Klavan has started writing young adult fiction and for a Christian publishing house. While this may be a bad move for some writers, Klavan has navigated the move very well. In truth, Klavan is a fine popular contemporary novelist. The extra benefit of this enjoyable read is that it may indeed have an additional application in [...]

When I’m Not Reading Great Books…Andrew Klavan’s A Killer in the Wind

By |2013-12-20T21:45:31-05:00June 1st, 2013|Tags: , |

My students regularly ask me about books and authors and also frequently ask, “what do you read when you are not reading Great Books?” It surprises them when I mention certain science-fiction and fantasy authors and I am always open for recommendations. Not long ago I was reading a blog, and novelist Andrew Klavan was mentioned. I was [...]

The Humane and The Inhumane

By |2019-02-07T12:40:02-05:00May 18th, 2013|Tags: |

Over the years I’ve seen countless book lists and there are two books on “must read lists” that speak to the modern world insightfully, but in differing manners. As dystopian works, people have tended to see them both as “prophetic” and yet, of the two, most think that the one literary vision was closer [...]