Ten Imaginative Conservative Questions

By |2021-05-12T08:56:09-05:00May 12th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, Western Civilization|

When Winston Elliott and I first started talking about what a proper online conservative journal might look like, way back in the spring and summer of 2010, we decided on a few things. Most importantly, we wanted real diversity of opinion, not the parroting of some ideological drudgeries. As such, we wanted all schools of [...]

10 Books Every Imaginative Conservative Should Read

By |2021-04-22T10:04:02-05:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Imaginative Conservative Books, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

So, you’re attracted to imaginative conservatism, and you’re wondering how such a school of thought came about. The roots, to be sure, are planted firmly in the first half of the twentieth century as a number of diverse thinkers strove to fight populism and progressivism (left and right, gentle and severe) in all their myriad [...]

Edmund Burke and the Progressive Mind

By |2021-03-19T15:14:54-05:00March 19th, 2021|Categories: Edmund Burke, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Not swayed by popular enthusiasm, Edmund Burke was the first substantial thinker to address the full-blown entrance of radical ideas into the political sphere and the first to express a truly conservative umbrage at the imposition of abstractions onto a world of particular, distinctive circumstances. Juniors at Wyoming Catholic College have just read in Humanities [...]

John Winthrop as Imaginative Conservative

By |2021-04-22T09:35:36-05:00March 14th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Community, History, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

Though rooted in a certain time and a certain place, elements of John Winthrop’s teachings are timeless, and, whether we agree with him completely or not, we should recognize him as an important and imaginative conservative of yesteryear. Between 1629 and 1640, roughly 21,000 Puritans (and servants) immigrated from England (especially East Anglia) to New [...]

Robert Nisbet’s “The Social Group in French Thought”

By |2021-02-24T19:24:01-06:00February 24th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political Philosophy, Politics, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

In “The Social Group in French Thought,” Robert Nisbet explains that social philosophers such as Bodin, Hobbes, and Rousseau undermined and sabotaged private law and intermediary institutions. Their thought culminated in the French Revolution and in its radical and nationalist legislation. Robert Nisbet’s dissertation began by lamenting that the history of freedom has been written [...]

Robert Nisbet’s Chance Dissertation

By |2021-02-22T14:06:47-06:00February 22nd, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Robert Nisbet had written and completed his dissertation, “The Social Group in French Thought,” rather speedily, beginning it in January 1939 and finishing it a mere six months later. Though Nisbet would publish his most famous work, “The Quest for Community,” fourteen years later, that book would not have been possible without the dissertation. When [...]

Is “Christian Humanism” Gone Forever?

By |2021-02-11T13:00:07-06:00February 11th, 2021|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In his book “The Year of Our Lord 1943,” writing on Christian humanism, Alan Jacobs considers the fears and desires of five major but seemingly disparate figures in 1943 as they envision a post-war world after an allied victory: W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Jacques Maritain, and Simone Weil. The Year of Our Lord [...]

Robert Nisbet’s Youth

By |2021-02-05T11:05:29-06:00February 5th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Growing up in Maricopa, the young Robert Nisbet fell deeply in love with libraries. Almost as soon as he learned to read—sitting on his mother’s lap as she read to him—the young man began to devour books voraciously, loving the literature of the Age of Coolidge. Though proudly possessing the Confederate soul of a southern [...]

Roosevelt’s Folly: Robert Nisbet’s Second World War

By |2021-01-25T16:07:45-06:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: History, Robert Nisbet, War, World War II|

From the beginning of their friendship, Franklin D. Roosevelt could not see Joseph Stalin as anything other than an ally, an anti-imperialist and proto-democrat, representing all that was modern and rational and equalitarian. Robert Nisbet concludes that Roosevelt’s arrogant blindness was the key to Soviet mischief. World War II—especially the European theatre—intrigued Robert A. Nisbet [...]

Give, Sympathize, and Surrender: Surviving Our Wastelands

By |2021-01-22T12:03:50-06:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Literature, T.S. Eliot|

Though written in the 20th century, T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” is a poem for our generation. It speaks to our own longings and losses, casting its bitter light on the wastelands of our lives. And, while he identifies the wasteland with brutal honesty, Eliot also sketches a path that can lead us out of [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2021-01-21T12:00:41-06:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Essential, 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 once [...]

Robert Nisbet’s Mentor: Frederick Teggart

By |2021-01-14T15:58:26-06:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, History, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Robert Nisbet was greatly influenced by his professor Frederick Teggart and his many ideas. Teggart was a brilliant scholar and historian, one of University of California Berkeley’s most successful lecturers, and “an impressive stretcher of minds.” “I have met no one since then who has approached him in range, diversity, and depth of knowledge,” Robert [...]

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas: Belloc & Eliot on Twelfth Night & Epiphany

By |2021-01-05T12:21:37-06:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Christmas, Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas two of my great loves sent to me a couple of great meditations on the mystery of the Nativity. The first and better-known meditation is by T.S. Eliot, whose “Journey of the Magi” places the poet in the entourage of the Three Wise Men as they journey to Bethlehem. [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “The Cocktail Party”: The Language & Doctrine of Atonement

By |2020-12-15T10:37:44-06:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, T.S. Eliot, Theater|

In the years between 1939 and 1949, T.S. Eliot’s task was to enshrine Christian martyrdom and to restore poetic drama. His most popular drama was “The Cocktail Party,” a comedy which develops dramatically into a philosophically darker spiritual trial and wrestles with the theme of atonement. In one of his manifesto letters to William Carlos [...]

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