Optionality and the Intellectual Life: In Gratitude for the Real World Risk Institute

Something about Taleb’s emphasis on practical wisdom unleashes in his readers a sense of humility, a renewed trust in reason, and a spiritual hunger courageous enough to move beyond the cynicism and skepticism typically bred in schools.

Last Rites for Local Parishes: On the Decline of Catholic Chicago

A church that prides itself on its universality—its catholicity—has served as a seedbed for hundreds of parishes divided along ethnic lines.

Unearthing America’s History of Empire

In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr lays bare the consequences of the American empire and how this history has been ignored by citizens of the United States. It’s an unflinching look at America’s expansionist foreign policy throughout our history.

Ernest Gaines, 1933-2019

On Tuesday, November 5th, Ernest Gaines, one of the great Southern novelists of the twentieth century, passed away. Gaines had a distinguished and...

The Temptation of Minimalism and Excess: A Simple Home in an Abundant World

In the discussion of minimalism, I want to suggest it’s less about what’s in your home than what your home is used for. It’s not what you don’t have in your home, but the people you do. It’s not the values you say you believe, but your disposition towards your neighbor and to things.

Two Great Interruptions

Wendell Berry’s new story is actually about two great interruptions: the first forms the occasion for Billy’s tale, and the second is how, as the title has it, the tale “ceased to be told.”

Two Forms of Despair

What I’m writing is not an exposé of the Christian college, nor a bitter and defiant account of my triumph over an evil system, but a confession of my own failures, faulty motivations, and despair.

The Foreign Mystique

If we learn about ourselves and our homes through travel, we don’t just become better “citizens of the world”—we can become more conscious and thoughtful citizens of our own places.

A Primer on Digital Thinking Part 3: Rise of the Robots?

Using money to measure a person’s worth is a product of an early version of the digital mindset that attempts to quantify all aspects of life.

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From the Archives

Rethinking the Local vs. Global Divide

In Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime, Bruno Latour provides a challenging but potentially hopeful...

Going Home

The South, repatriated ex-slave Ned Douglass lectured his Louisiana neighbors in Ernest J. Gaines’s novel The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, is “yours because...

The Fall of the Wall

In my misspent youth, I was a politician. And in my role as a politician, I did all the things that politicians do. Well,...