The Moral Imagination & Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-19T14:32:07-05:00July 17th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Edmund Burke, Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Jane Austen, Moral Imagination, St. John's College|

Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism… The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006) The Moral Imagination is a very engaging collection of a dozen essays on a dozen [...]

The Imaginative Conservative at 9

By |2019-07-10T09:30:47-05:00July 9th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, TIC|

Inspired by the writings of Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative’s distinctiveness lies in recognizing that being “conservative” must represent something beyond mere political cravings. If one is to be conservative, one must conserve what deserves to be conserved—all that is best in experience, all that is best in metaphysical desires, and all that is [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-11T10:58:46-05:00July 9th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative|

My first and last care is not politics but education. Education seems to me inherently conservative, being the transmission, and thus the saving, of a tradition’s treasures of fiction and thought. But education is also inherently imaginative. Author’s Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at [...]

Remembering Irving Babbitt

By |2019-06-26T09:58:45-05:00June 18th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, History, Humanism and Conservatism, Irving Babbitt, Senior Contributors|

Irving Babbitt’s humanism was not radically intricate or convoluted: It was a reflection of nature and, at least to the wise, of common sense. No one could—in his wildest dreams—dismiss the humanism of Babbitt as a mere fad or a marginal movement; all thinking people engaged the ideas, whether they found them palatable or [...]

The Un-Burkean Economic Policy of Edmund Burke

By |2019-06-17T10:55:49-05:00June 16th, 2019|Categories: Adam Smith, Economics, Edmund Burke, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Edmund Burke allowed his fear of the French Revolution to cloud his judgment of a fitting response to the needs of agricultural workers. He was blind to the dangers of monopoly and concentration of economic power, to the possible ways of intervening that conform to the character of a market economy. “The mistakes which [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-10T10:46:39-05:00May 21st, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Imagination, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

Pine by Albrecht Durer (Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Dr. Eva Brann as she examines imagination, conservatism, time and eternity. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher) I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once utterly at home in America [...]

Measuring the Influence of Russell Kirk and Other Conservative Authors

By |2019-05-17T10:22:05-05:00May 12th, 2019|Categories: Christopher Dawson, Conservatism, Culture, Eric Voegelin, Irving Babbitt, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk|

By using Google’s Ngram Viewer, we find that Russell Kirk’s reputation hit its highpoint in 1964, and then began a painful decline that remained unabated until his death in 1994. What does Ngram tell us about other conservative authors, like Robert Nisbet, Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, and Christopher Dawson? While I would never consider [...]

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? [...]

Leviathan, Inc.: Robert Nisbet & the Modern Nation-State

By |2019-05-05T22:21:55-05:00May 5th, 2019|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Robert Nisbet feared that modern totalitarians had succeeded in undermining the very foundations of goodness, truth, and morality. They had not only redefined liberty as power, but they had transformed the modern political state into a secular church, exchanging real religion for civic religion, creating a “New Leviathan.” Like most Americans during the Great [...]

Eliot and Irons

By |2019-03-16T12:02:11-05:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

Hearing T.S. Eliot's poems read brings us back to the haunting beauty of the words themselves, and hearing the words unlocks Eliot’s powerful imagery, just as he would have wanted. Jeremy Irons' classic rendition empowers this strange transaction, and through the words we are taken beyond the words to the realm of the Word. Those [...]

Christopher Dawson and Time

By |2019-02-08T15:20:34-05:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Christopher Dawson Series by Bradley Birzer, History, Senior Contributors, Time|

Christopher Dawson believed that history, far from being cyclical, was instead a particular manifestation of God’s will, and thus was “moving towards a great consummation, the revelation of the power and glory of Yahweh through his servant Israel”… As noted in previous essays in this series, Christopher Dawson (1889-1970), one of the greatest of [...]

Christopher Dawson and the Nature of Progress

By |2019-02-04T22:38:27-05:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christopher Dawson, Christopher Dawson Series by Bradley Birzer, Heaven, History, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

An understanding of progress and its adherents was not just of academic curiosity to Christopher Dawson. It was central to understanding the good life and preventing those who misunderstood history from gaining control and imposing the will of man upon the creation of God… “What has happened will happen again, and what has been [...]

Is Specialization Killing Culture?

By |2019-07-03T13:39:39-05:00January 25th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Civilization, Community, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Permanent Things, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, Truth, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

If culture is simply a matter of private enthusiasms and hobbies, of small details and specialties, then what of a common culture? What about the collective project and shared sense of purpose that built Western civilization? “The expert takes a little subject for his province, and remains a provincial for the rest of his [...]