the imaginative conservative logo

Great Books

The recovery of political theory is necessary for American political life, for without it, our love of our country may be on unstable grounds. There is nothing more natural, wholesome, and genuinely conservative than to love those places we are from, even with—and perhaps especially because of—all their imperfections...
1 168

Your world needs you; it needs your desire to understand it, your openness to what it has to teach you, your acceptance of its imperfections, and your sincere wish and best efforts to be useful to it because you care for it as it has cared for you, however...
0 157

Now the bright morning Star, Dayes harbinger, Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her The Flowry May, who from her green lap throws The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose. Hail bounteous May that dost inspire Mirth and youth, and warm desire, Woods...

The speculations of classic and scholastic metaphysics are edifices of reason erected on the experiential basis of existence in truth. We cannot withdraw into these edifices and let the world go by, for in that case we would be remiss in our duty of “debate”...

I am too old to want to spend the evening of my career trying to shore up a crumbling wall, when those who are in authority at the college are unwilling to listen to our pleas. No, I’d prefer to be in on building something exciting for the...

Too often the public conversation about universal truths divides along rather sterile ideological lines. Russell Kirk's great warning is that this is not really a battle of ideas, understood abstractly, but a battle of sentiments or affections...
0 336

The Roman teachers were acutely aware of the role of audience. In its classical sense, rhetoric means the use of language, whether in speech or tex, to persuade an audience... The word rhetoric is thrown about in...
0 191

Pope Julius II: "If you don't hurry up and open the gates, I'll unleash my thunderbolt of excommunication with which I used to terrify great kings on earth and their kingdoms too. You see, I've already got a bull prepared for the occasion."/ St. Peter: "Just tell me, please,...
3 539

At St. John’s I learned how to struggle with fate—before I was even capable of truly grasping what fate might possibly be—as I viewed what it meant to be human through the eyes of war-like Achilleus and as I wandered with crafty Odysseus, searching for my own...

Soft totalitarianism aims to destroy communities and undermine the character of the people. The next stage in human degradation is mere savagery... What should a democratic people fear in their leaders? That depends on the character of...
0 244

As a professor who values intelligence, I tend to like most those students who talk to me about books and ideas. Yet recently when a student, unasked, quietly shoveled the snow from my sidewalk, he taught me a lesson about a profound depth of goodness that I...
1 311

Entertaining questions requires wisdom, a considering, reflecting frame of a mind still resonating with past experience but now focused by desirous expectation. Otherwise put: Questions are a mode of blessed ignorance, a thorough apprehension of our own cognitive limitations which clears our minds of mere opinions and,...
0 193

Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the...
2 384

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...