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Nature

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Our first national artistic movement, the Hudson River School provided a balm to a public searching for the concrete, the real, and the beautiful in an age of increasing abstraction. It takes its place in the long and glorious Western tradition as a body of art which continues to...
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The message is loud and clear. Your actions have no more significance than those of a cockroach. Furthermore, like a cockroach, you are in no position to make moral choices of your own free will. When you commit some hideous brutality, it is not that you decided...

Marshall McLuhan identified our time of postmodernity as the “ecological age” in which technological dominance has become planetary. This undeniable truth is a fact that may be symbolized by the visual image of satellites...
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This note is written in memory of David Lachterman, who was an alumnus—using the term in its fullest significance—of St. John's College, Class of 1965, when I was a young tutor. He was in my classes...
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It is our duty to understand and self-consciously conserve a natural process of imagination that has proceeded for an extraordinarily long time. This process has not been uniform nor is its continued emergence inevitable. It has changed its...
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I marvel how Nature could ever find space For so many strange contrasts in one human face: There's thought and no thought, and there's paleness and bloom And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom. There's weakness, and strength both redundant and vain; Such strength as,...
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A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely, the love of Beauty. The ancient Greeks called the world {kosmos}, beauty. Such is the constitution of all things, or such the plastic power of the human...
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Nature is no doubt a life-study, or a study for eternity (for those so gifted); but there is a part of man which is not “Nature,” and which therefore is not obliged to study it, and is, in...
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You see one every day on the streets of Kathmandu, what a friend calls D3 meaning the Daily Dead Dog. Stiller and flatter than before, sometimes the canine corpses are hauled away by the city, at other...
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When I bring up the subject of “place” to fellow scholars and administrators, I often encounter blank stares and gentle skepticism. Why, I’m asked, would people want to talk about...place? Why would anyone want to write, or read,...
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It was the late Stratford Caldecott who first struck up my interest in Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World by Charles, the Prince of Wales. Caldecott described the book as the...
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“Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:20 My goal this evening is to praise reason—that is,...
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Will the world end with a bang, or just a whimper, as T.S. Eliot predicted? Or will nobody notice at all? An eerie silence, as everyone listens to an endless stream of digital music on their...
forces of nature
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Some thirty years ago, around the time I converted to the Catholic faith, I had one of those dreams which stay with you for years, unpacking their significance over time.  I was in the garden of...