Edmund Burke and the Calculation of Man

By |2019-06-13T11:30:08-05:00December 7th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Politics|

As Edmund Burke began to wind down his very long letter—that which would become 1790’s Reflections on the Revolution in France—he returned to the question of first principles and right reason, especially in regard to the nature of the human person. At his best and most natural, Burke argued, men understood themselves as spirited [...]

Leo Strauss vs. Edmund Burke

By |2018-12-03T23:04:44-05:00December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Books, Edmund Burke, History, Leo Strauss, Nature, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Reason, Truth|

What ought to take primacy when carrying out research and interpreting seminal books: the text itself, or the context? A known critic of historicism and contextualism, Leo Strauss published his seminal essay, ‘What is Political Philosophy?’ in 1957 in the Journal of Politics and introduced a problem with the field: Modern academic obsessions over [...]

“The Cultivation of Christmas Trees”

By |2018-12-02T14:07:13-05:00December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Christmas, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

There are several attitudes towards Christmas, Some of which we may disregard: The social, the torpid, the patently commercial, The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight), And the childish — which is not that of the child For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel Spreading its wings at the summit [...]

Understanding Voegelin’s Critique of Locke

By |2019-06-13T11:51:55-05:00November 30th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Books, Democracy, Eric Voegelin, John Locke, Philosophy, Political Philosophy|

No matter how conservative intellectuals try, they just do not seem able to escape John Locke. Jonah Goldberg’s well-received Suicide of the West proudly called America’s Declaration of Independence “echoes of” the great English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, saying U.S. history was “more Locke than anything Locke imagined.”  He inspired “a government but not a state”: a government with power [...]

Grace in the Garden: The Fall of Man & the British Pastoral Tradition

By |2019-06-12T16:09:14-05:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Books, Featured, John Milton, Literature, Poetry, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot|

The transcendent ‘overcoming’ or reconciliation of the Fall of Man—that symbol of the cause of the disorder that we would wish re-ordered, of the return to the garden—is what great poetry graciously asks of us. “An intermediate nature... prevents the universe falling into two separate halves.” —Plato, Symposium (203b). Almost from the beginning of when human [...]

Firing the Imagination: The Legacy of Russell Kirk

By |2018-10-19T07:46:17-05:00October 19th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Prospects for Conservatives, Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative, W. Winston Elliott III|

Russell Kirk offers us a rich legacy in words and deeds. If we heed them we may yet play our part in preserving our Republic’s ordered liberty... The thought of Dr. Russell Kirk has inspired many people and many projects, including the journal that you are now reading. Founded by Dr. Bradley Birzer and myself [...]

Lewis, Letters, and Love

By |2018-09-05T22:16:55-05:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Love, Paul Elmer More, T.S. Eliot|

Real, actual letters are a gift, an insight into our best and our worst selves. Unlike the present world of the ephemeral email and hatchet posts on social media, letters of the pre-internet era could be gorgeous works of art. In them, the writer shares just a bit of his soul, preserving it for time, [...]

An Emblematic American: The Critical Legacy of Irving Babbitt

By |2019-04-07T10:50:00-05:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: Books, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Featured, George A. Panichas, Irving Babbitt|

Irving Babbitt was in no way a dogmatic, ossified traditionalist. He was a creative traditionalist: He encouraged renewed expressions of imaginative vision, and he was open to the possibility of a deepening and an expansion of humane knowledge... The Critical Legacy of Irving Babbitt by George A. Panichas (235 pages, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1999) I [...]

Imagination and Conservatism

By |2019-03-19T10:22:09-05:00August 26th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Education, Great Books, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Imaginative Conservative|

Our world drowns in information, facts, bites, noise, opinions, and other particulars. Yet, even the best of our students have the most difficult time connecting one thing to another. It is myth that allows us to transcend the immediate and the ephemeral... About ten years ago, I proposed a course of study for first-year college [...]

The Americanization of James Iredell

By |2019-05-09T10:30:25-05:00August 3rd, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, M. E. Bradford, Politics|

James Iredell’s careful apologia for the American cause—a teaching which he developed in a series of essays and public letters written from 1773-1778—clearly contains a foreshadowing of what he thought should be in a constitution for the United States… James Iredell was born at Lewes, Sussex County, England. He was the eldest of the [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “Dry Salvages” & the Christian Philosophy of A.E. Taylor

By |2019-05-30T11:09:26-05:00July 27th, 2018|Categories: Books, Christianity, Conservatism, Great Books, History, Inklings, Plato, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

Jesus saved a hurting T.S. Eliot. And Eliot, the greatest poet of the twentieth century, thought Jesus could save us as well. A person can hate the conclusion, but if English is your mother tongue, then you cannot ignore Eliot or his ideas. He shaped the twentieth-century imagination through his poetry and use of language. [...]

When Feelings Became Facts: Rousseau, Burke, & Today’s Outrage Culture

By |2018-07-18T00:00:04-05:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Morality, Reason|

Edmund Burke understood that the individual’s own natural reasoning would never be as deep or profound as the wisdom of our ancestors, bequeathed to us through tradition and custom. He believed that looking inwards, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau advocated, would precipitate our demise… On our college campuses, the clashes between liberals and conservatives have grown [...]