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Modernity

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Mr. Ropoulos and I were talking in the St. John’s College Coffee Shop, and the subject of modernity came up. So he asked me to write a few pages for his issue of the Gadfly [ed., the St. John’s student...
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The week after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress. He gave in many respects an eloquent and well-crafted speech. It set down with considerable skill the...
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To know what I was like as a teenager in the eighties, you should know this: at a time when most boys’ heroes were sports figures, mine was an antisocial weirdo who had been dead for 125 years.
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The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else...
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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...
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The tiresome cant about the work ethic notwithstanding, Americans do not celebrate, or even recognize, the dignity of labor. Although they profess to disdain both the idle rich and the idle poor, they do not at the same time esteem those who must work for a living,...
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As one reads What Are People For?, an important underlying and unifying theme—the struggle to avoid abstraction—emerges, a theme which reveals perhaps Wendell Berry’s greatest concern about modern life... What Are People For? by Wendell Berry (224 pages, North Point Press, 1990)
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Although modernity contains other and contrasting elements, it may be permissible to call the new type of person simply "modern man." His demeanor is very different from that of premodern man. Far from discounting the opportunities of a worldly existence, this person entertains great expectations... Today’s...
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In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith was absolutely right: The widespread division of labor would cause the interior life to die; an unsurprising result, for under capitalism, the human person became a commodity, a resource, a thing used to further profits…
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If conservatives can pin down the idea of decadence while avoiding shrill tones, they may go far in explaining what it means for a civilization to decline... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Gleaves Whitney as he explores...
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What is the connection between time and eternity? Twitter and scripture? How can we use human language to speak of divine things? It’s complicated, so it’s not surprising we sometimes get it wrong. Gaudium et Spes, a...
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Poetry will not improve our students' job prospects or make them better office workers, but it is more important now than ever to teach poetry because it offers a unique antidote to the superficiality that dominates American culture. Poetry calls us back to tradition and calls us...
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Friedrich Nietzsche sought to change the world, and there is significant evidence that the existentialist philosopher succeeded. Many of the contemporary world’s assumptions regarding the primacy of individualism and the disavowal of universals were exposited by Nietzsche. Yet,...
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Robin Sloan attempts to show the ways in which technology can improve upon our old and outdated modes of reading. But his novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, demonstrates that though Mr. Sloan knows technology, he misunderstands books and bookstores… Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour...