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Culture

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We have a choice: either to shape our lives by freedom and the desire to possess more and more material goods or to fashion our lives around duty and the goal of spiritual freedom, the release from cultural dictates and a narrow self...

Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky had a lot to say about Johannes Brahms’ music—all bad... “I have played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms,” wrote Tchaikovsky in his diary in 1886. “What...
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The upholding of tradition reflects a belief that even the individual is uncertain about what is best, and so should accept direction from the age-old wisdom encoded in our traditions. In this way, conservatism is consistent with humility in the face of life's mysteries...

There is something more dangerous than secularism, and that is a nation-state masquerading as God incarnate... Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, by David Gelernter (Doubleday, 2007)
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To discover Honoré de Balzac is to discover a new world, one comparable to that envisioned by Shakespeare. If there is any lesson the collected works of this counter-revolutionary author hold for us, it is that the human comedy is best illuminated not by politics alone, but...
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If rights are real, and are founded on reality, then perhaps we should also be skeptical of Rod Dreher’s notion of a "Benedict Option." Being in the world is a necessary condition for not being of it and for generating a genuine cultural flourishing...
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President Xi has initiated a campaign of national renewal based on a return to China’s traditional values. But at the same time, an astonishingly large number of ordinary Chinese people are turning to Christianity... In a...
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Music was meant to create an effect in its listeners that embraced more than the perception of its sounds alone; it was meant to have an effect deeper than words, deeper than rational thought, and touching the emotions and that mysterious thing which the poets call...
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John Senior’s great contribution was to forge a middle way between indoctrination and the chaos of complete relativism. Instead of indoctrinating students, the classical knowledge of a Christian culture provided the tools and the framework for true education... John Senior and the Restoration of...
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What one conceives oneself to be doing and what one is perceived by one’s public to be doing are two different things. For Beethoven the New Path (what later history would name the Second, or “Heroic,” Period) was...

The country appears to be radically divided. We even hear talk of a new kind of civil war. Civic unity depends on an agreed vision of what man is and what the world is. When this agreement is lacking, nothing can really hold that society together...
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12 Angry Men is a film connected to the Western moral imagination, speaking to us on a primal, even a classical level, with themes that are as old as the Bible and Greek tragedy. The characters of the twelve jurors are archetypes representing the virtues and vices of...

While original in his style, Felix Mendelssohn was certainly no radical. What he offered was a perfect blending of classical proportion with Romantic fervor. In that sense, he amounts to a kind of missing link between Mozart and the remainder of the nineteenth century...
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Even those critics friendly to Rod Dreher's Benedict Option have failed to take its implications seriously, likely because they are afraid to take the concrete steps he suggests to preserve their Christian way of life in this country...