Western Civilization

A Manifesto of Neo-Romanticism

By |2019-12-05T17:08:25-06:00December 5th, 2019|Categories: Communism, Conservatism, Ideology, Politics, Western Civilization|

He is thinking: “See how God writes straight on crooked lines.” —Machado de Assis What realistic form can a manifesto of Neo-Romanticism take in a positivistic age? How many people will even recognize it as such? In a time when life has been cheapened by the talons of radical ideology, those who cultivate a [...]

The Rise of Birth Control & the Decline of Civilization

By |2019-12-06T15:20:32-06:00December 1st, 2019|Categories: Abortion, Civil Society, Civilization, Conservatism, Western Civilization|

Traditionally, the type of men that women wanted to marry embodied all the classic standards of male achievement: educated, physically fit, able to hold down a job. But in 1960, everything changed. A watershed moment produced an oral contraceptive known as “the pill.” No innovation has fundamentally altered the premises of civilization quite like [...]

Litany of the Lost

By |2019-11-29T11:04:59-06:00November 29th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Cold War, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization|

Written in the after-shock of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Siegfried Sassoon’s “Litany of the Lost” laments the dehumanizing and destructive effects of technology. If Sassoon emerges as something of a prophet in the lines of this poem, he is something of a prophet at a loss. Who exactly is to deliver us from ourselves? We [...]

All That Is Beautiful & Terrible: The Feast of Saint Cecilia

By |2019-11-22T21:25:07-06:00November 22nd, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Conservatism, Sainthood, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

No matter how corrupt and bleak and depressing the world may appear, we can always turn to the many Cecilias of the world and see the goodness that is possible through grace and love. Properly remembered, these true symbols and true myths can re-orient our souls, our cultures, and perhaps even the world itself toward [...]

Return of the Small Gods?

By |2019-11-16T21:29:54-06:00November 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Dwight Longenecker, Relativism, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Rusty Reno’s recent book, Return of the Strong Gods is an excellent explanation of the roots of relativism. The short version is that two world wars left Western civilization with a huge societal case of post-traumatic stress disorder. With heads in hands, the thinkers concluded that we kill one another because of dogma. We say, [...]

Return of the Strong Gods

By |2019-11-09T22:04:01-06:00November 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Faith, Family, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Worldview|

R.R. Reno in “Return of the Strong Gods” argues that we need a return to the pillars that represent classic human values: the home, the country, and the religion. He calls for true patriotism rather than nationalism, marriage and family instead of a sexual free-for-all, and historic Christianity instead of do-it-yourself “spirituality.” Return of [...]

Seeing the West as a Millstone: Sketches of Solzhenitsyn in Exile

By |2019-11-21T19:44:18-06:00October 16th, 2019|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Conservatism, Democracy, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Political Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

“Sketches of Exile” is a real gift for those who admire Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, enabling us to see his first years of exile, in Switzerland and the United States, through his eyes. We should be grateful for these sketches and the insight they offer, as well as for their glimpses of the lovable man behind the [...]

The Permanence of Russell Kirk

By |2019-10-14T12:29:01-06:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

With the phenomenal success of The Conservative Mind—selling over a million copies during the three decades after its initial release—Kirk worried that “conservatism” might prove to be a hollow answer for the post-war world. Afterall, he reasoned, conservatism must, by necessity, be highly subjective, centered around a specific time and place, even while embracing [...]

Russell Kirk Reconsidered

By |2019-10-12T14:19:30-06:00October 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Russell Kirk gave voice to a myriad of persons, personalities, and ideas circulating in the decade after the Second World War, just as the West was trying to understand what it stood for, rather than what it stood against. The latter was easy. Communism and fascism were evil. But, what exactly did the West stand [...]

The Shield of Aeneas: Memory and History in Virgil’s “Aeneid”

By |2019-10-01T22:13:05-06:00October 1st, 2019|Categories: Aeneas, Aeneid, Civilization, Conservatism, Great Books, History, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, Virgil, Western Civilization|

The “Aeneid” was only possible because the Roman people had the memory and consciousness to make it possible. It is up to us to ensure that its living well of memory doesn’t dry up. Without it, the “Aeneid” will pass into the dustbin of history like the corpses of Priam and Pompey. The grandest [...]

Visions of a Botanist: Explorations & Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest

By |2019-09-30T15:15:09-06:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Science, St. John's College, Western Civilization|

In Wade Davis’ “One River,” every issue that a sound-minded person most cares about is joined under a novel aspect: sanity and the way to illumination, visibility and the manifestations of the divine realm, physicality and the gateway to transcendence. One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, by Wade Davis (New [...]

A Thing Called Civilization

By |2019-09-25T21:16:07-06:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Roger Scruton, Western Civilization|

On September 19, 2019, at the fourteenth annual Gala for Western Civilization, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute presented Sir Roger Scruton with the Defender of Western Civilization award. Sir Roger gave these remarks on accepting the award. It is a great honor to be named Defender of Western Civilization for the year 2019 by ISI, an [...]

Education With Range

By |2019-09-11T10:14:15-06:00September 11th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Wyoming Catholic College|

Liberal arts students are “generalists in a specialized world,” and as a result, they bring many analogies to bear on the problems that they will face on a daily basis in the world of work. And those analogies come from what they actually study, from Homer to field science to statistical analysis to metaphysics. Back [...]

The Hebrews Take a King

By |2019-08-27T12:38:20-06:00August 26th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Conservatism, History, Israel, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Odyssey Series|

Jealous of the political systems of their neighbors, the Hebrew people begged for a king, despite God’s warning against taking one. Given the chaos that ensued, it is well worth considering that there always remained the Hebraic love of law; indeed, it is from the Hebrews that America inherited an understanding of the sanctity [...]