Against Sentimental Rejections of the Pope

This Lent I have been reading the Letters of Flannery O’Connor: The Habit of Being. They may not seem like proper Lenten reading. The letters are not a spiritual manual or even particularly concerned with spiritual improvement. But wh...

The Seer: Seeing Through Wendell Berry’s Eyes

Laura Dunn’s The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry begins with the blurred lights of cars speeding along freeways and the barren wasteland left by mountaintop removal coal mining. While Wendell Berry reads one of his Sabbath poems decrying ...

The leaders we deserve

I’m heading back to the United States this month to spend some time with my family, and I’m headed back to an America whipped up into a political frenzy. Europeans do not mistake an accent for an ideology, but when they hear my ...

Ashes Along the Edisto

Last summer, on a typically hot South Carolina day, my family gathered at my grandparent’s farm to scatter the ashes of my grandfather. Aside from family, my grandfather loved three things above else in the world: a good cigar, his dogs, an...

Res Idiotica

South Bend, IN My students are know-nothings.  They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent.  But their minds are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the ...

Thoughts on Localism and Resilience

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to the “Resilience Group,” an informal gathering of environmentalists, activists, and interested others that meet regularly at the home of Wes Jackson, in...

The Art of the Deal, and the Writing on the Wall

The Republican candidates for president would have us believe that they are strong, manly men who would stand up to Putin, destroy daesh, contain Iran, and generally “restore” America’s power throughout the world. But they cannot even stand...