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Imagination

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Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism... The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006)
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Many believe that objectivity is the historian’s goal. But Forrest McDonald believed that history by its very nature entails artifice; the historian is not simply a mere recorder or reporter of events, but also an artist... “History is marble, and remains forever cold, even under the...
blue cross
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Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men’s real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?... Between the silver ribbon of morning and the green glittering...
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The world has long sought to explain the mysteries of madness and genius and has largely failed to do so. Perhaps the better idea would be simply to allow madness and genius to go on explaining the world’s own mysteries to itself... Today’s offering in our...
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The "moral imagination" goes beyond our personal, individual experiences to help us fathom the depths of human dignity in light of God’s creation... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Robert Stacey as he explores the moral imagination, as...
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The “beautiful violence” of Old Masters painting, a magnificence rooted in the study of Light and Dark as technique, as style, but most of all as a symbolic representation of the very essence of life on earth, remains timeless for its sublime understanding of that which for...
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In their ego-centered quest for radical originality, too many contemporary poets fail to keep in mind what Catharine Brosman reminds us is the poet’s primary obligation in every age: “to say the oldest thing in the world as though it had never been said before”...
1 1991

The value of fairy stories lies in the fact that they serve as a lens by which the heavenly can be seen on the earth, a lens by which the deepest and most important realities are grasped. They allow us to judge evil from the perspective of...
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Wallace Stevens’ poetry is replete with examples of this effort to understand and articulate the poet as creator of things and meaning... Wallace Stevens wrote in a letter to a friend that “fter all, I like...
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Is memory deceptively transformative? Is the original imagination an organ for lying fictions, for deception, or a conduit for revelatory illumination? And so, more generally, how do we explain those images that are apparently not imitations, don’t have an origin in verifiable originals, be they stored in...
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The principal difficulty of mankind today is the decay of the moral imagination in our civilization... In the spring of 1989, videographer Ken Martinek and I made the trip to Piety Hill to interview Russell about the moral imagination (as first conceived by Edmund Burke...
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In this dull utilitarian age, there seems little less useful than poetry. What good is it? There are few who get rich writing or publishing poetry, and when it comes to practicality, it is practically good for...
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3 2002

The exponential proliferation of books is a sign of our culture’s loss of an ultimate, shared purpose to life, and a consensus on how to achieve that purpose. Devoid of this consensus, each of us...
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The New Atlantis is at once a fable, a work of political philosophy, and a religious text. The god that it preaches on behalf of is the humanistic god of the Enlightenment— with reason, knowledge, science, and progress as its sacred values...