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Bradley J. Birzer

Bradley J. Birzer
Bradley J. Birzer is the co-founder of, and Senior Contributor to, The Imaginative Conservative. He is the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in History at Hillsdale College and a Fellow of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Dr. Birzer is author of Russell Kirk: American Conservative (2015, University Press of Kentucky), American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll, Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth, co-editor of The American Democrat and Other Political Writings by James Fenimore Cooper, and co-author of The American West.

As if to create the cruelest irony possible, as the terrorist ideologies arose, Americans surrendered their own republican inheritance, their own Augustinian and Puritan caution, and their traditionally humane morality to the new god: “Progress.” It was nothing less than a new faith...

Our heritage of foreign intervention is a new one, an innovation introduced by the progressives. To imagine a clean and humane progressivism is, simply, a fool’s errand. There is no such thing as a non-racist and non-imperialist progressivism...

As revolutionary as they claimed to be, the French Revolutionaries were as old as sin, Edmund Burke assured his readers. “Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences,” he argued, and “you can find nothing at all that is new...”

Not only did Jesus manifest Himself as the Logos so long desired in the pagan West on that Friday afternoon, but He also manifested Himself as the Christ, the true and eternal king. In some mysterious way, it was the death on Friday that revealed all of...

Stories of glass and stone—which told of the holy and sainted—convinced young Christopher Dawson that a saint was a saint not because of his or her individual talents, but as a continuation of the deepest longings and desires of the Church...

It would be difficult to find a more beautiful republican thought in all of Edmund Burke’s writings than this: "A man full of warm speculative benevolence may wish his society otherwise constituted than he finds it; but a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how...

The French Revolutionaries, Edmund Burke rightly understood, sought not just the overturning of the old, but, critically, they also desired the destruction of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Only by lying about the nature of the human person could they accomplish their goals...
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There I, a convinced atheist, stood alone in a sandy and windy world, devoid of water, trees, or anything that seemed to be alive. And I couldn’t help but wonder what madness had overcome me... The most...
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Not only was Flannery O’Connor one of the most important Christian Humanists of the twentieth century, but she also well understood what made Christian Humanism what it was. While it might very well be conservative, it was always imaginative, allowing one to imagine what must be conserved...
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Russell Kirk thought that because justice is rooted in nature and because in its perfection transcends all time and space, one can innately observe virtue in the actions of wise women and men. Such observation of our heroes and those we admire might be the best teacher...

As shocking as it might seem to those who knew Russell Kirk as a bad (in terms of practice) Catholic, he deserves sainthood. Here is my case for Saint Russell of Mecosta... When I first started reading...

The job of every conservative is twofold: First, he must fight tirelessly against the centralized, unitary state; second, he must do everything possible to promote that which makes the free society not just an ordered one, but a good one...

Power, in and of itself, has become an “ideology,” according to Robert Nisbet. It is, by its very nature, incapable of understanding nuance... As I had the opportunity to write in my previous essay...

In no society in the world, Robert Nisbet believed, has any people become so remote from nature as have Americans. As technology allowed him to dominate or ignore nature, the American became detached from place, having neither loyalty nor respect for the land that once nourished him...