Hagia Sophia: Once a Church, Always a Church

By |2020-12-27T10:02:59-06:00December 27th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Christianity, Culture, Religion, Secularism, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

Every awe-inspiring element of Hagia Sophia is a testament to our Christian faith that should make us feel proud of our cultural heritage, even in today’s society where our churches are defaced and adapted for secular use. The church is undeniably Christian in spirit and character, no matter how many times its use is altered. [...]

Postmodern Music: Groans Wrapped in Mathematics

By |2020-12-08T15:13:08-06:00December 8th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Jazz, Modernity, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The atonal music produced in the twentieth century consists largely of random outbursts that could be described as groans wrapped in mathematics. The result makes little or no sense to the ear, and these works remain more items of curiosity than objects of love, and audiences have begun to turn their backs on them. In [...]

Counterpoint and Why It Matters

By |2020-11-30T15:36:07-06:00November 30th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Modernity, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Western Tradition|

In music, there has arisen in recent times the illusion that knowledge is not necessary, that the old forms of discipline are merely obstacles to the true creative process, and that real originality means doing your own thing, free from traditional constraint. I recently acquired a CD of music for piano duo by Jeremy Menuhin, [...]

Surprised by Jack

By |2020-11-28T21:35:13-06:00November 28th, 2020|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Character, Christianity, Literature, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

C.S. Lewis’ writings are endlessly fascinating because the man himself was endlessly fascinating—to himself as well as to others. He saw life as a sort of drama and art, one in which the will shapes what Providence has so generously provided. One can readily and happily delve into C.S. Lewis’s autobiography of 1955, Surprised by [...]

Renewing and Rejecting: Comparing Architecture and Music

By |2020-11-23T17:14:43-06:00November 23rd, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Faith, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Tradition, Western Civilization|

At a certain stage and for no apparent reason, self-criticism among those of us in the West gave way to repudiation. Instead of subjecting our inheritance to a critical evaluation, seeking what is good in it and trying to understand and endorse the ties that binds us to it, a great many of those appointed [...]

The Heart of Music

By |2020-11-18T14:29:40-06:00November 18th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Young people need to come into the presence of music. Without live orchestras and available concerts the real heart of music will cease to beat, and young people will be deprived of one of the most enriching experiences that I know. I grew up in post-war Britain, at a time when people were beginning to [...]

In Defense of the Old Republic: The Problem of the Imperial Presidency

By |2020-11-20T09:41:32-06:00November 15th, 2020|Categories: Constitutional Convention, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Government, Presidency, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

The dangers associated with the imperial presidency are compounded by an awareness that, while new and more expansive theories of executive authority are seriously advanced, the office is not attracting individuals of high moral and intellectual character. The Philadelphia Constitution may be dead, but the basic problems which troubled the Framers—e.g., preserving the rule of [...]

Tonality Now: Finding a Groove

By |2020-11-05T10:47:22-06:00November 12th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Some people listen to music; others merely hear it. The assumption on which our musical culture has been built is that people will listen to musical sounds, and listen to them for their own sake, treating them as intrinsically significant. All music lovers listen in that sense, regardless of their taste. The ear is a [...]

The Assault on Opera

By |2020-11-12T13:17:40-06:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Imagination, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Hardly an opera producer now, confronted with a masterpiece that might otherwise delight and console an audience, can control the desire to desecrate. The more exalted the music, the more demeaning the production. What modern producers seem to forget is that audiences are gifted with the faculty of imagination. The disappearance of the bourgeoisie has led [...]

Why Do We Have an Electoral College?

By |2020-11-01T19:07:15-06:00November 2nd, 2020|Categories: Constitution, Electoral College, Politics, Timeless Essays|Tags: , |

The modern Electoral College may not be exactly what the Founders intended, but it fits the spirit of their decentralized federal system. During the debates over the ratification of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton remarked in Federalist 68 that the method of presidential selection was “almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which [...]

The Best American Ghost Story? William Gilmore Simms’ “Grayling”

By |2020-10-28T11:11:44-05:00October 29th, 2020|Categories: Fiction, Halloween, Timeless Essays|

William Gilmore Simms When it comes to stories that make your hair stand on end everyone’s mind understandably goes to master of macabre Edgar Allan Poe. But what did Poe himself consider the best ghost story? Of William Gilmore Simms’s short story “Grayling, or Murder Will Out,” Poe wrote “it is really an [...]

How a Conservative Should Oppose Socialism and Liberalism

By |2020-10-30T09:24:20-05:00October 28th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

In response to liberalism, it is necessary to work for the restoration of the concrete circumstances of justice. But the concrete law that I have been advocating is very unlike anything that either a socialist or a liberal would approve. It preserves inequalities, it confers privileges, it justifies power. That, however, is also its strength. [...]

The Plague of Multiculturalism: Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture”

By |2020-11-19T14:57:29-06:00October 18th, 2020|Categories: Culture, England, Featured, Roger Scruton, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays|Tags: |

There is so much pertinent history and so much wisdom in Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture” that his book would serve as a useful summary of America and its culture for the busy student—even for one who is hard pressed by the demands of a multicultural curriculum. America’s British Culture, by Russell Kirk (New Brunswick, [...]

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