Philosophers & Saints

G.K. Chesterton in 1000 Words

Gilbert_Chesterton March 28, 2014

I once knew a woman who met Chesterton. It was a brief meeting in the 1920s when she was a girl of about ten or so. Her older sister invited her to go into London to hear the great man…

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Imagining Healthy Work: Why We all Have to Become Monks

Fra_Angelico_031 March 10, 2014

This essay was originally presented at Spring Arbor University’s annual Focus series.
I am speaking today not as a literature specialist, nor as a professional economist, nor as a business expert, but simply as a human.  So in talking about

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A Genuinely Original Libertarian Argument?

March 5, 2014

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]
Yesterday evening, I participated in a symposium sponsored in part by Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, a private Christian academy, here in Wichita, KS. I’ve done a lot with Northfield over the years, as…

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Liberty and Circuits of the Sacred

IMG-20140118-00854 January 28, 2014

A few days ago was the first time I heard Chinese being spoken with a heavy Indian accent.  Given the tenor of our times, one might expect this to have been at some gathering of wheelers and dealers brandishing business…

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Can We (not) Talk?

large_tomlincry January 13, 2014

Hillsdale, Michigan.…   Patrick Deneen posted a vigorous rejoinder to pro-free market critics of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. Deneen’s takedown of Rush Limbaugh got me thinking less about the substance of the pope’s thoughts than about the form –

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What You Need to Know About Simone Weil

weil2 December 3, 2013

Born in 1909 to secular Jewish Parisians, at age 10 Simone Weil was memorizing Racine and marching in labor union protests.  She attended the École Normale and then briefly taught philosophy to lycée girls, serving on weekends as a volunteer…

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The Limerick and the Liturgy

math-limerick September 4, 2013

The form is the content.

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What You Need to Know About Hans Urs von Balthasar

Switzerland470-Lucerne-FranciscanChurch August 19, 2013

This is an entry in FPR’s One Thousand Words series. Over the next few months, perhaps longer, several dozen contributors will tell us what we need to know about a wide variety of figures—some obscure, some not—in one thousand words …

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Thoughts on Elshtain

elshtain August 13, 2013

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]
Jean Bethke Elshtain, a profound and important political theorist and ethicist, died yesterday I was lucky enough to have met her perhaps a handful of times, being able to ask her a question or two…

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Veritatis Splendor at 20—Lessons for Localists

jpii-escribe2 August 5, 2013

Veritatis Splendor, John Paul II’s encyclical letter, The Splendor of Truth…, is now twenty years old. Promulgated August 6, 1993, the letter addressed fundamental issues in moral theology, responding particularly to certain revisionist or dissenting positions denying that

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Pondering St. Francisville, Gilead, and our Stories of Place

st.-francisville-cemetery (2) July 22, 2013

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]
Jeremy Beer’s recent review of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming… leads me to once again reflect upon Rod Dreher’s excellent book (about which I’ve already had a lot to say), in part because it

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Radical Traditionalists: The Fall of Triumph Magazine

fritz July 3, 2013

This article first appeared in Ethika Politika, the journal of the Center for Morality in Public Life.
In May of 1970, back from the Vietnam War and newly released from the Army, I arrived at the campus of the University of…

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Do Protestants Belong?

Marburger-Religionsgespräch June 25, 2013

Hillsdale, Mich.… Ever since I have lived, moved, and had my being in conservative circles, I have encountered an unspoken ambivalence about Protestantism. (Truth in advertising: I am a Reformed Protestant, Calvinist for the church-history challenged; worse, I belong to

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The Problem of Undertheorized Agrarianism in Most Actually Argued Localism

April 25, 2013

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]
That’s a terrible title for this post, I know. But hopefully it’ll make sense, if you actually make it to the end.
First of all, if any reader of this blog has missed out on…

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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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Ruthie Leming’s (and Rod Dreher’s) Little Way

51zyOb2vuoL._SS500_ April 8, 2013

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]
Rod Dreher’s 2006 manifesto, Crunchy Cons…, was an inspiration (and provocation) to many, on both the left and the right. It wasn’t that the book was a tremendous intellectual break-through or an entirely new

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