the imaginative conservative logo

Great Books

0 249

Augustine is accessible and applicable because he is one of us. He suffers from the same temptations and succumbs to those temptations. He falls and does not always get up again, preferring to wallow in the gutter with his lusts and his illicit appetites. And yet, like...

In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, a Greek war hero faces imposing challenges in his long journey home. After decimating the armies of Troy, King Odysseus sets out for Ithaca only to find himself wrestling against...
3 925

Aristotle identified man’s eating habits as one of the cornerstones of civilization—one of two activities that highlighted the nature of man’s exquisiteness (and barbarousness). The importance of eating to the human condition should be self-evident to everyone. But what is...
1 628

Our morally bankrupt culture sees sex as no more important, complex, or harmless than the ABCs. But it is unwise to teach the young that which is both beyond their understanding and harmful to their developing character. What American families need are educators who understand the true...
1 433

Is it worth it to try to do great things in business or politics or art or education—or even the Church? Recently, when I was reflecting on honor and fame as praiseworthy ambitions for...
0 487

Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (326 pages, Paul Dry Books, 2002) "Reading Homer's poems is one of the purest, most inexhaustible pleasures life has to offer—a secret somewhat too well kept...
0 550

The planting of trees in the orchard—the passing down of tradition, of the moral wisdom of the past, of the torch of life, and of the beauty of life’s simplest but richest and pleasures—produces the great harvest of joy that culminates in the final chapters of the...
1 449

Should honor and fame no longer be ends of ambition in such a world? The ancient philosophers doubted the ultimate merit of fame, but they also looked for the most spirited students, those most inclined to “undertake extensive and arduous enterprises"...
2 1004

Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them... The part of the title of this talk which I asked to have announced is "The Roots...
0 678

Perhaps an apology might be necessary for the sheer audacity of beginning any essay with such a question and with such a seemingly absurd claim. Of course, Shakespeare cannot save civilization, at least not on his own. Perhaps we...
0 489

Homer is universally allowed to have had the greatest invention of any writer whatever. The praise of judgment Virgil has justly contested with him, and others may have their pretensions as to particular excellences; but his invention remains yet unrivalled... Editorial Note: This essay was originally...
3 865

The end of liberal education is not the learning of settled truths, and the inculcation of useful habits for obtaining useful goods, but the perfection of the human as human, not, primarily, as worker, citizen, or even believer...

Soft totalitarianism aims to destroy communities and undermine the character of the people. The next stage in human degradation is mere savagery... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Bruce Frohnen as he explores whether or not present-day America...
0 860

If we are indeed witnessing the nadir of American politics—or at least its accelerating decline—we should listen closely to Augustine. The “Augustine Option,” meaning a life lived in the final years of Rome, can offer key insights into how we should understand and address these tumultuous times...