Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Politics

Fifty years ago today, Thomas Merton died suddenly during a visit to Thailand. During the past few months, I’ve been thinking about the ways...

Can Beauty Bring Us Together?

First, a confession: with the exception, at the age of 18, of a brief flirtation with Barry Goldwater’s presidential candidacy, my politics have leaned decidedly...

When In Gotham . . .

“How does one critique globalism without succumbing to would-be nationalist despots like Bolsonaro or Trump?” This was the earnest and sensible question a friend put...

Funding College Graduates to Come Home

Sacred cows exist in almost every industry and sector in America, and the world of philanthropy is no exception. Within the realm of community...

In Pursuit of Jimmie Ricker’s Farm

It was hard to resist. John Harrigan’s portrait of Great North Woods stump farmer Jimmie Ricker in our local newspaper compelled me to drive...

Losing (Some of) the Local Commons

The annual Prairie Festival at The Land Institute just outside Salina, KS, was held two months ago, but it's been much on my mind...

Cultivating the Candy Roaster: An Extensive Pleasure

In the spring of this year, some students and I created a modest Heritage Garden—420 square feet of raised beds built from two-by-twelves and...

The Local Game

The baseball season has ended. For fans just about everywhere outside of Boston, this will signal either melancholy or relief. Or possibly disgust. Melancholy...

When the Witch of November Comes Stealin’

There’s a certain aching joy in the chill of regret.

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From the Archives

McClaughry Memoir: The Thousand Points of Light

The following is the final installment of John McClaughry’s memoir, Promoting Civil Society Among the Heathen.  See the previous chapter here. 8. George H.W. Bush and the...

Do Protestants Belong?

Hillsdale, Mich. Ever since I have lived, moved, and had my being in conservative circles, I have encountered an unspoken ambivalence about Protestantism. (Truth...

On Competitiveness

“Competitiveness” is the new “proactive” – the word, to paraphrase The Simpsons, that dumb people are using to sound important. Or, more precisely, it’s the word that ostensibly smart people are using to try to cover up really dumb thinking.