Western Civilization

Christopher Dawson on Becoming the Enemy in World War II

By |2019-08-09T21:40:28-05:00August 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, [...]

“Reason, Faith, & the Struggle for Western Civilization”: Illuminating the Past & Present

By |2019-08-07T22:05:08-05:00August 7th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Faith, History, Philosophy, Pope Benedict XVI, Reason, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

It is a bright note of hope, set against the present daunting darkness, that shines throughout Samuel Gregg’s “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization,” both illuminating the past and shedding much-needed light on the present situation. Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization, by Samuel Gregg (256 pages, Gateway Editions, 2019) [...]

Fr. Schall, “What Is,” and Book Clubs

By |2019-07-27T22:04:40-05:00July 27th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Philosophy, Western Civilization, Wisdom|

Christianity and the Western tradition insist that true unity is rooted in complimentarity, self-gift, and ordered relationship. Trinitarian love is creative, but not coercive; it is a mystery, but it is not irrational; it is personal, but it is not subjective. These are essential truths that James Schall returned to again and again in [...]

All Is Not Lost: Reason, Faith, & Western Civilization

By |2019-07-22T09:32:26-05:00July 20th, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Christendom, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Samuel Gregg’s “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization” is a brilliant meditation on the reasons for the rise of the West, more triumphantly known as “Christendom.” He argues that for the West to survive, we must first acknowledge and then return to valuing its Christian foundation. But does history indicate that going [...]

Nicolás Gómez Dávila: The Nietzsche From the Andes

By |2019-07-15T10:34:37-05:00July 11th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Western Civilization|

A philosopher in his own right, and more impressively, an autodidact, Nicolás Gómez Dávila contributed some of the most thoughtful analyses of twentieth-century thought through one of the least conventional ways of political interpretation: aphorisms. Civilization is not an endless succession of inventions and discoveries, but the task of ensuring that certain things last. [...]

The Roots of Political Correctness

By |2019-07-01T00:59:45-05:00June 30th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Liberal Learning, Politics, Ray Bradbury, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Over the last thirty years, political correctness has metastasized. Today, so many politically-correct assumptions have become mainstream that, as Tocqueville once predicted, they have narrowed our questions and our ability to question, rather than actually tell us the exact answers to things. Over the last decade, it has become normal for students, professors, and the [...]

Progressives at War: The United States Enters The Great War

By |2019-05-26T22:22:51-05:00May 26th, 2019|Categories: Defining America Series, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, World War I|

I. Entry into the First World War revealed the entanglement of interest and idealism that has long characterized American politics and thought. Yet, apart from fears about the disruption of international commerce, few Americans regarded the outbreak of another war in the Balkans as a matter demanding serious attention or concern. Still fewer could [...]

The Honorable Roger Scruton and His Enemies

By |2019-05-15T23:14:50-05:00May 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Roger Scruton, Western Civilization|

I know of no more comprehensive and reflective summary of conservatism than Sir Roger Scruton's "Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition." We should not expect conservative establishmentarians on either side of the Atlantic to pay it much heed, though, for the author has now been pushed into the ranks of the untouchables. Conservatism: An [...]

500 Pastas: Why America Lacks a National Cuisine

By |2019-05-13T13:31:08-05:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: Culture, John Horvat, Tradition, Western Civilization|

Some American places have excellent local cuisines. However, the cultures that sustain them are dying, as they are in Italy with its pasta cuisine. We are losing our connection with the roots of cuisine because our culture is shattered, fragmented, and undermined by globalization. Paging through the food section of The Wall Street Journal, [...]

Faith, Family, and the Future of Europe

By |2019-05-12T00:09:57-05:00May 11th, 2019|Categories: Europe, Faith, Family, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Europe has a suicidal tendency to ignore the problem underlying its decay: a lack of faith and families. But perhaps, in light of recent legislation in Poland and Hungary rooted in faith and family and the future, perhaps we may be seeing the sun rising in Europe’s East, even as we see it setting [...]

Leviathan, Inc.: Robert Nisbet & the Modern Nation-State

By |2019-05-05T22:21:55-05:00May 5th, 2019|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Robert Nisbet feared that modern totalitarians had succeeded in undermining the very foundations of goodness, truth, and morality. They had not only redefined liberty as power, but they had transformed the modern political state into a secular church, exchanging real religion for civic religion, creating a “New Leviathan.” Like most Americans during the Great [...]

Love and Light: Reflections on the Meaning of Notre Dame

By |2019-05-02T11:17:53-05:00May 1st, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Western Civilization|

I suppose it’s a bit preposterous for me to feel a deep personal connection with Notre-Dame. I’ve been there maybe a dozen times during brief Paris sojourns over the past decade. Hardly exceptional compared with the experience of the legions of faithful who worshipped there regularly, or of the millions of Parisians and French [...]

Batman and the Rise of the American Superhero

By |2019-04-05T14:00:06-05:00March 29th, 2019|Categories: Batman Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Heroism, History, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Against the suffocating world of Nazism, communism, Holocaust camps, and gulags, imagination found a new life in the 1940s and 1950s, as artists strove for a renewal of beauty, goodness, and truth. It is only in this context that one can understand the rise of the “superhero,” among whom none have endured as well [...]