The Fire at Notre Dame: A Metaphor for the West

By |2019-04-20T12:34:22-05:00April 19th, 2019|

Notre Dame nearly burned to the ground, from neglect, and we can say the same thing about the Church in France, in Europe, and in the West as a whole. So, we can say the same thing about our culture. On Monday, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire and nearly burned to the [...]

Batman and the Rise of the American Superhero

By |2019-04-05T14:00:06-05:00March 29th, 2019|

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 [...]

The Imaginary Bubble We Inhabit

By |2019-03-25T13:53:32-05:00March 25th, 2019|

We Americans are taught to maintain an inviolable spatial envelope, or imaginary bubble, around ourselves. But does our desire for individualism allow us to experience the world in all its concrete fullness? Like all Americans, even those with gypsy blood, my experience of space was determined by individualism. In the third grade, my desk, [...]

Behold the Demon: Nietzsche as Destroyer

By |2019-03-15T21:01:56-05:00March 15th, 2019|

Friedrich Nietzche’s Ecce Homo lays waste to centuries of an ethic of inhibition and restraint. Intellectually brutalized, bloodied, and tortured, the nineteenth-century philosopher presented himself in his final and last words to a world he wanted to overthrow. Behold the man. To be more accurate, behold the demon. In his mockingly titled autobiography and final published [...]

A Light in the East: Thoughts on Education from Japan

By |2019-03-07T00:26:45-05:00March 6th, 2019|

Having read Fr. Peter Milward’s book, My Idea of a University in Japan, I am firmly of the opinion that it needs an audience in the West. It is universally applicable and relevant to those seeking a deeper understanding of what constitutes an authentic university education. Last year saw the passing of Fr. Peter Milward, [...]

The Hobbes-Bramhall Debate on Liberty and Necessity

By |2019-02-28T23:53:28-05:00February 28th, 2019|

Despite their contrasting metaphysics, Thomas Hobbes and John Bramhall were Royalist supporters during the English Civil War. Both men believed that monarchy was the best form of government despite their opposing perceptions of liberty. If philosophy influences politics, why then would two thinkers’ opposing philosophical views result in support for the same form of [...]

The Tyranny of History

By |2019-02-21T23:44:50-05:00February 21st, 2019|

Those who weaponize history and language to fit their ideological vision know no boundaries in any matters. Enthralled by the phantoms of their psyche, they become the blind tyrants who destroy this real world for the fantasy of their world to come… It has become customary for moderns to hear the phrase “the right [...]

Revisiting Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”

By |2019-02-19T13:15:31-05:00February 19th, 2019|

A decade after his death, we are living in the world that Samuel Huntington foretold. Today he again looks like a prophet, as immigration has become the most contentious political question in America and western Europe alike, and popular movements across the world are now urgently asking who “we” are within the context of their [...]

The Myth of Modernism

By |2019-02-26T14:40:40-05:00February 13th, 2019|

“Should not the unswerving modernists… come to the realization that there is nothing more wearisome or more barren than the most antiquated of all manias: the rage to be modern?” Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) In my visits to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I generally sidestep the East Building, the portion devoted to [...]

Is Specialization Killing Culture?

By |2019-01-25T22:14:19-05:00January 25th, 2019|

If culture is simply a matter of private enthusiasms and hobbies, of small details and specialties, then what of a common culture? What about the collective project and shared sense of purpose that built Western civilization? “The expert takes a little subject for his province, and remains a provincial for the rest of his [...]

Banning Books and Burning Heretics

By |2019-01-24T22:31:46-05:00January 24th, 2019|

Advocates of the liberal arts include “heretical” books in the great conversation, whereas political liberals seek to silence them as dangerous. As we have seen in Nazi Germany and in communist countries, the banning of “heretical” books ends with the burning of “heretics”… Several years ago, I visited the two-room shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, [...]

What Anti-Semites and Pro-Abortionists Have in Common

By |2019-01-15T11:46:04-05:00January 17th, 2019|

It is not about right and left but about right and wrong, and those who see politics in terms of right and wrong, and not in terms of right and left, will see parallels between the contempt of the anti-Semite towards the dignity of the human person and the contempt of the pro-abortionist towards [...]

Where Is the Beauty in Buildings?

By |2019-01-11T16:18:22-05:00January 11th, 2019|

A recent essay by Radomir Tylecote argued that we have turned our backs on the architectural traditions of our Western heritage, and in the process lost our connection to our own history and the generations that built it.[1] Dr. Tylecote argues well, and makes a strong case for reintroducing beauty into architecture; but his [...]

The Classics and Christianity

By |2019-01-11T15:44:57-05:00January 11th, 2019|

Christians invented the classical curriculum; it is as much part of the broader Western inheritance as it is specifically part of the Christian inheritance… Why study old books? How do dusty old books written by dead men and women thousands of years ago grow my faith? Such can be common thoughts when the Christian [...]