The Imaginative Conservative

Death at Yuletude: T.S. Eliot and “The Journey of the Magi”

By |2019-12-07T10:12:18-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Advent, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi” is as sincere a conversion poem as one can have it: No fancy light shining down from the heavens or a thunderous call to holiness; just one small event that left a Magus perplexed by a new worldview that was unsettling and strange, for it put into [...]

Twelve Books for Christmas

By |2019-12-03T14:17:31-06:00December 3rd, 2019|Categories: Books, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

It’s that time again. Another year is wending its way to a close and we’re all preoccupied with preparations for Christmas. This being so, I thought I’d offer my personal selection of books, published in 2019, which I feel would make good gifts for those imaginative conservatives in our lives. […]

Listening to “Little Gidding”

By |2019-10-12T15:53:55-06:00October 12th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In “Little Gidding,” T.S. Eliot captures an experience that lodges his reader into a recurring theme of time and memory, history and destiny; the poem’s lines are among the finest and most moving in Eliot’s oeuvre. Here there is motion and emotion, intention and commitment. All is driven and motivated by love. It would [...]

5 Ways You Can Help Preserve the Good, True, & Beautiful

By |2019-10-06T23:12:08-06:00October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Stephen M. Klugewicz, Support The Imaginative Conservative, The Imaginative Conservative|

Do you find yourself turning to The Imaginative Conservative as a welcome oasis of the Good, True, and Beautiful in a world that seems increasingly fallen, false, and frightful? If so, we would be appreciative if you would support us in one or more of these five ways. […]

Listening to “Dry Salvages”

By |2019-12-10T09:25:30-06:00September 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In “Dry Salvages,” T.S. Eliot moves into a new confidence and clarity. The arcane symbolism begins to evaporate. The artificial voices are silenced and we are at last face to face with the poet himself, and a new level of emotional interaction is experienced. We sense a new vulnerability and with the new honesty [...]

Listening to “East Coker”

By |2019-08-31T20:59:12-06:00August 31st, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “East Coker” relies more explicitly on personal references than his earlier work. It is as if the mask has fallen. The poet is humbler and more vulnerable. The poem expands his meditation into a wider consideration of time and eternity, destiny and desire. In the introduction to this five part series I [...]

Listening to “Burnt Norton”

By |2019-08-24T23:50:26-06:00August 24th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s visit to the garden at Burnt Norton, and his musings with Emily Hale about a love and life together that never happened, lead to a broader contemplation on the nature of time, free will, and human choice, culminating in the first poem of the "Four Quartets." I’m using the word “listening” in this [...]

Listening to “Four Quartets”

By |2019-08-17T16:18:15-06:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Mystery, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” is highly personal, uniquely-fashioned religious poetry. This wordless realm into which Eliot takes us is the region of dreams, the numinous, the collective unconscious. He wishes us to plunge into the experience instead of simply pondering the meaning. I first read T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets as an undergraduate and was [...]

The Horrors of Modern Public Opinion

By |2019-08-16T23:25:25-06:00August 16th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Democracy, Fascism, Government, Politics, Senior Contributors, War, World War II|

Christopher Dawson believed that the free peoples of the Allied Powers in World War II had become too accustomed to employing scientifically-formed propaganda to create public opinion: “Public opinion can itself be the greatest enemy of freedom, as well as of peace, as soon as it becomes dominated by the negative destructive forces of [...]

Christopher Dawson on Becoming the Enemy in World War II

By |2019-08-09T21:40:28-06:00August 9th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Government, History, Politics, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, War, Western Civilization, World War II|

Christopher Dawson worried about the actual physical changes wrought by World War II, but he worried far more about the moral changes. He lamented that even the democracies of the United Kingdom and the United States had come to resemble Nazi Germany far more than their nineteenth-century historical selves did. Throughout his writing career, [...]

The Moral Imagination & Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-19T14:32:07-06:00July 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 |2019-07-10T09:30:47-06:00July 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 |2019-07-11T10:58:46-06:00July 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 |2019-06-26T09:58:45-06:00June 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 [...]