The persistent cultural trend away from family life and childbirth is deeply troubling, not just because of its demographic implications, but because it means denying core characteristics of what it means to be human: our need for connection and our desire for meaning.
Month: May 2022
In their rigorous sociological account of Christianity in America today, George Yancey and Ashlee Quosigk provide many important insights, particularly in relation to progressive Christians, though overall the book simply confirms the enduring truth that Christians have always disagreed among themselves about faith and politics.
Josh Craddock’s vision for a post-Roe legislative agenda imaginatively builds on and renews decades of pro-life thinking, but it risks generating resistance within the conservative legal movement. There may be an alternative, more disarming path that conveys to the public the need for Congress to act to protect human life in the womb.
As a counterweight to the transience and loneliness that pervade our society today, Dante’s medieval theological vision reminds us that friendship is central to human flourishing because it is central to the human person. Friendships—no matter how fleeting—prepare us for union with God.
The prospect of a post-Roe America calls not only for celebration, but also for a realistic appraisal of the road ahead, which will require the pro-life movement to rebuild itself as a movement that goes beyond partisan divisions and that also helps create a social, political, and economic order in which life is encouraged and supported.
Federal student lending creates two crises in higher education: a current crisis of affordability for students, and a looming crisis of increasing federal interference in the internal affairs of colleges and universities. Great Books colleges that opt out of federal funding offer a promising solution to both.
The overturn of Roe could be a key pivot point back to the ordered, republican decision-making the Constitution demands, encouraging a return to legislative politics that demands calm reflection, moral seriousness, negotiation and compromise, and living with principled disagreement.
The future of conservatism lies in building a program on political, policy, cultural, social, and educational foundations that can rebuild America from the ground up. Anything short of that will merely prolong our agony.
Built Better Than They Knew Studies endeavors to show that our practice of self-government rises above simplistic ideological reductions and achieves political equilibrium. From its beginnings, our country has been a blend of ideas, practices, and understandings of what it means to be a free and flourishing human person within community, local and national. That means that our theory must be sufficiently aware of a political practice that involves contrasting accounts of how Americans choose to be constitutional.
A proper understanding of education means embracing the creation of small liberal arts colleges in which students have the leisure to study and faculty the leisure to teach them. As Peter liked to say, every human person is “wondering and wandering,” and higher education is where one wonders and wanders the most. To those bound up in standards of efficiency, wondering and wandering seems like a waste of time. But there is no other way for a person to learn.
Peter Augustine Lawler was a rich, dialectical, and irenic thinker who strove to prevent fruitful tensions from transforming into dangerously implacable oppositions. His wisdom was attuned to the needs of the late modern age. It has been nearly five years since his unexpected death at the age of sixty-five, and his wisdom remains just as needed now as it’s ever been.
Genuine postmodernism—a real reflection on the failure of the modern project—would be a recovery of the idea that the lives of free and rational beings are really directed by purposes given us by nature and God.
No reader can read all there is, but there is more to the reading life than a duty to edify ourselves. Even the ephemera of our reading will give us something of value if we experience the pleasure of a well-told tale.
Solzhenitsyn’s 1968 book Cancer Ward presented a metaphor of the state as a physician to capture what was happening in the Soviet Union. But the book can also help us examine American society in the Age of COVID.
In his recent book, Roosevelt Montás offers an account of the university that is critical without being despairing, provides a way of talking about identity that is sensitive without being reductive, and articulates a hopeful vision for academic renewal through a recommitment to liberal education.
Liz Scheier’s memoir tells of navigating the extreme emotional turbulence of life as the child of a dishonest parent. Though she is fascinated by deceit and believes we are naturally drawn to liars, her own story explains how she built a new life based on trust, forgiveness, and enduring love.
The growing movement to legalize physician-assisted suicide raises fundamental questions about how to die well. The late medieval Ars moriendi text, which argues that preparation for death should be directed toward the goal of union with God, provides a valuable framework for more successfully incorporating the art of dying into a contemporary context.
Civility has a distinctly minimal character you don’t see with virtues like decorum or politeness—the idea that one can be merely civil. This means that to be civil is to meet a low bar grudgingly, and it is important for any adequate definition of civility to account for that minimal sense.
For the first time in forty years, we must confront the consequences of a rapidly depreciating dollar. To tame the inflationary beast and to build a more humane economy, especially for the poor, we need to grapple with inflation’s practical and moral effects.
Adrian Vermeule’s new book, an attempt to rescue American constitutional law by recurring to the “classical legal tradition,” is undone by the author’s unreasonable attack on originalism and his inattention to the Constitution and its history.
A vision of control based on ambition, education, and income has come to dominate professional-class perspectives on having children, but we should reject these mistaken cultural pressures and remember that truly abundant life is achieved through giving and receiving love.
The only way to find out about happiness is not with instruments or surveys, but with thoughtful conversation that cross-examines common views about happiness held throughout history.