Review of Holston

That’s the great cultural task now: to relearn this old language, to keep it from dying out, to nurture it and refine and expand it, to develop new idioms and accents. Holston’s book is part of that project.

My Failed Wild Garden and Inner Utopian

Rational ideas create hell on earth. Just ask a kulak. Or just ask the lettuce plants in my garden.

Hand-Cranked Ice Cream Against Despair

Whether the experience goes beautifully or our best-laid plans go awry, hand cranking ice cream with a few dozen kids is a whole lot more powerful than dithering in paralyzing despair. As always, and as we so often forget, the light wins out.

No Good without Evil: G.W. Leibniz’s Reconciliation of Animal Suffering with God

A robin or chicken that seems to die in a totally senseless way is viewed by humans only in its individuality, without seeing the universal order underlying this suffering.

Wandering in Solitude

But there is something more going on. We also face a new “transcendent reality,” as Klass puts it, in which we see the spiritual world with new eyes. This may include changed views of the sacred, nature, and time itself.

Toward a Politics of Beauty

This talk was delivered earlier this year at a conference on wellbeing held at the Sorbonne.

Rendering Me into We: A Review of The Crisis of Narration

Disagreements aside, however, Byung-Chul's argument remains a valuable one: the cultures of consumption that rule the modern world are death to the cultures of community that give life meaning.

Enchanting Axioms: The Snake Oil in the Water We Drink

As-Long-As-Your’re-Happy . . . Follow-Your-Heart . . . Be-True-To-Yourself . . . Believe-In-Yourself . . . Live-Your-Truth . . . Be-Your-Best-Self . . . Do-What-You-Love — the aphorisms of our day are elegant. They sound like beautiful advice. They’re certainly enticing. Who wouldn’t want to be their best self?

Bjartur and Berry: Contrasting Visions of Community and Affection

Seen through his most redemptive lens, Bjartur stands as a cautionary tale for those who would pursue independence as an end in itself.

Working for the Life Beyond Words

In his brief and not altogether satisfying rejoinder to the question, “why write?” Berry says, “To serve that triumph I have done all the rest,” and he ends the poem there. “That triumph” is the triumph of the way of love, the life of silence.

The Hidden Sorrow of Mother’s Day

Our mothers and our children will always be part of our lives, in life and death. Surprisingly, grief does not dominate our existence, it informs it.

Make plans to join us for our fall conference in Grand Rapids, MI on October 4 and 5. Ross Douthat will be the keynote speaker.

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