One the inspirations for Front Porch Republic (if not, unfortunately, an active participant in FPR itself), Rod Dreher of Crunchy Con fame, has taken up a new gig: he is the editor of a new online publication, Big Questions Online (or BQO, as it apparently will mostly be known), a venture put together by the John Templeton Foundation, where Rod now works. Do check the new e-zine out. It’s an impressive debut, with a broad and deep range of thinkers and writers discussing the deeper questions (about science and religion, markets and morals) behind the public issues and idiosyncratic debates of the day. It looks, if might be so bold, somewhat like what FPR might have looked like, if 1) the folks who organized FPR hadn’t had a clear (if debatable and multifaceted) agenda in mind, and 2) they’d also had a lot of money to spread around. Perhaps FPR can aspire to such someday…or, on the other hand, perhaps our decided “amateur” (in the classic sense) approach to talking about matters of public import will continue to serve us well. In any case, it’s wonderful to have yet another source to consult when looking for intelligent considerations of the ideas, ideologies, and beliefs which, whether acknowledged or not, underlie pretty much everything which takes place in the public square. I’d suggest you bookmark it accordingly.

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  1. I’m not sure. I found exactly one link on the main page worth clicking on. Never have been quite sure what to do with Rod. Most of these aren’t big questions, their distractions.

    I will add a feed or two to my Google Reader for awhile to see if anything turns up.

  2. Some things I thought beneficial: Roger Scruton on Muhammed’s finance, D. B. Hart’s review of Absence of Mind, and Robert George’s video dialogue with Robert Wight.

    Hope the venture goes well.

  3. I quit perusal of BQO suggests that FPR is superior and better off remaining modest. Not to mention the simplicity of FPR better represents its values.

  4. FPR is perfect as is. I will be watching BQO….I see some worthwhile things to look into, but my main reading happens right here….as is.

  5. No contest, FPR beats BQO hands down! BQO feels pretty typical of “new media” blogs; overweighted (this morning, anyway) with sophomoric essays sporting a lightly patronizing condescension to the traditionalist wing of Western culture.

    Along with Albert, I did appreciate Roger Scruton’s article on Mohammedean finance. But I found myself wondering why a so-called “conservative” like Scruton would dig back 1500 years in time across the Islamic cultural bridge for ideas he could have unearthed much closer to home under Catholic Distributism. To be fair, contemporary Islam at least gives lip service to financial morality with its Sharia Banking, but it mostly seems an accounting fiction designed to uphold the letter of the law while perverting its spirit (from what I’ve read, although I’d be pleased to be wrong).

    REFERENCE: “Mohammed Was Right About Debt”

    Keep up the good work, FPR.

  6. Has anyone read Scruton’s The West and the Rest? I haven’t, but given his defense of Western civilization elsewhere, perhaps his intended audience is not conservative but the multiculturalist elites running the UK and elsewhere?

  7. If all Rod ever did by ‘Crunchy Cons’ was to get some mainstream conservatives to read Kirk and Berry, that alone should make us forever grateful to him.

    I do not like to miss either Scruton or Hart. The latter’s essay “Christ and Nothing” is a monumental, paradigmatic piece of anti-modernist writing.

  8. What the heck is up with Rod Dreher? Of all the contrarian conservatives he’s the only one I find vaguely interesting or readable. He’s not blogging or writing anywhere anymore, afaik.

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