James Matthew Wilson

Reading the Constitution in the Light of Russell Kirk

July 1, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Gerald Russello reflects on Russell Kirk’s theory of the unwritten Constitutionone in a new essay published on the Liberty Fund’s Liberty Forum.  His essay is part of a symposium that includes essays by Bradley Birzer, Gary Gregg,…
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On a Sculpture by Herbert Adams

Adams A Portrait of a Young Lady June 20, 2013
For Adams and his peers the trade of art must have itself seemed an imported thing: threatening, rarified, and set apart like thorned peaks of the Swiss Alps rupturing above the folded skin of clouds.
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At Bar Harbor Once, And Once . . .

water carriers June 11, 2013
We scrambled up the craterous outcrop that ruptured like an isle in the gray sands spread thin around Cille inne Bay.
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Gatsby for the Millennials

Gatsby May 23, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  I was a little surprised, not too long ago, to hear a student mention that The Great Gatsby was her favorite book.  “Because it is the only book you have read,” flashed through my mind, before I could…
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Telling the Truth about Immigration

images April 26, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Nobody wants to.  Most politicians would rather appeal to platitudes about America as a “nation of immigrants” than confront their responsibility to attend to the common good of their own people.  And, depending on the poll you…
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The Pythagorean Temptation

2013-Candlemas-DT-Cover April 19, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  In his Degrees of Knowledge, Jacques Maritain argues that one central fault of the modern mind has been its propensity to think of mathematics rather than metaphysics as first philosophy.  If we take number for the foundation of…
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From the Trinity Capital

Trinity Capital April 12, 2013
Beyond the purple velvet drapes, the skeins of billowed gossamer, my hotel window looks down on the back gates of Trinity College. Up three floors and pierced by a late October sun, the room has been done up like a swinger’s pad, with leopard print and leather, with mirrors and conic shaded lights in orbit about the dark mass of the pillowed bed.
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Our Slippery Slope into the Age of “Big Love”

Santorum April 5, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Many of us will recall the criticism Rick Santorum endured regarding this passage from a 2003 interview: And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [homosexual] sex within your home, then you…
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Mark Mitchell at Villanova

Layout 1 March 12, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Mark Mitchell, FPR‘s founding father and Editor-in-Chief, will deliver a lecture at Villanova University next week.  The event is open to the public, and any FPR readers in attendance will be made especially welcome.  See the details…
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Abstraction Rightly Understood

descartes optics January 16, 2013
Part III in an ongoing series, Localism and the Universal Church.  Read Part I, and Part II. Berwyn, PA.  In the last installment of this series, I contended that an abstract conception of human nature has helped lead modern…
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Fleeing the Fearful Loneliness of Thought: Our Post-rational Age

December 3, 2012
Berwyn, PA.  In the first weeks of FPR, when we authors dared commit to writing one essay a week, as if we could all be either as drunk or logorheic as Jason Peters, I published a short piece called…
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Republicans and the Language of Citizenship

November 12, 2012
Berwyn, PA.  I add my voice to the FPR symposium on the presidential election in this morning’s edition of Crisis Magazine, where I assess the way in which President Obama capitalized on an attractive but empty vision of citizenship…
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True Politics in the Wake of Obama

November 7, 2012
Berwyn, PA.  I woke this morning, prepared to write a point-by-point assessment of yesterday’s election, though I was not looking forward to the job, since one must say this morning the same things that were said here at FPR more…
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The Wrong Side of History

October 24, 2012
Berwyn, PA.  Cardinal George offers us the strong words — not of oracular prophecy, but of historical wisdom.  A few passages: Communism imposed a total way of life based upon the belief that God does not exist. Secularism is communism’s…
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Against Rationalism, Idealism, and Abstraction

Enlightenment Garden August 31, 2012
Part II in an ongoing series, Localism and the Universal Church.  Read Part I here. Where the traditionalist position I have sketched appears weakest is precisely where it speaks most explicitly in response to the cavaliers of unattached gallivanting. …
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The Problem of Place

Joseph de Maistre August 27, 2012
Part I in an ongoing series, Localism and the Universal Church. Devon, PA.  Several times during the last couple years, the FPR comment boxes have received protests against the supposed “placelessness” of the Catholic Church and the suggestion that more…
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