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The Imaginative Conservative

As revolutionary as they claimed to be, the French Revolutionaries were as old as sin, Edmund Burke assured his readers. “Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences,” he argued, and “you can find nothing at all that is new...”
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Life without prejudice, were it ever to be tried, would soon reveal itself to be a life without principle. For prejudices are often built-in principles. They are the extract which the mind has made of experience... Prejudice becomes a flail to beat enemies—traditional distinctions, essential to a workable...
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There is always a temptation for religion to ally itself with the existing order, and if we today ally ourselves with the bourgeois because the enemies of the bourgeois are often also the enemies of the Church, we shall be repeating the mistake that the Gallican prelates...
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The qualities that I would love most of all to see in all our students could not be better described than by Edmund Burke’s account of the chivalric demeanor: "that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself,...
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To be a conservative is first and foremost to defend or to conserve something good: to protect family, neighborhood, local community, and region... Louis de Bonald Of the many attempts to define conservatism in recent decades,...

Stories of glass and stone—which told of the holy and sainted—convinced young Christopher Dawson that a saint was a saint not because of his or her individual talents, but as a continuation of the deepest longings and desires of the Church...

It would be difficult to find a more beautiful republican thought in all of Edmund Burke’s writings than this: "A man full of warm speculative benevolence may wish his society otherwise constituted than he finds it; but a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how...
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Since the present meaning of a word is often vaguely swayed by past meanings which have dropped into the subconscious, a knowledge of particular semantic histories can increase our facility and sometimes save us from an inadvertent error... Studies in Words by C.S. Lewis...

The bourgeois soul for Christopher Dawson is not found simply in support of the free market. The bourgeois soul is found when one puts money above God, in contrast to the religious man, who places God first... “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate...

The French Revolutionaries, Edmund Burke rightly understood, sought not just the overturning of the old, but, critically, they also desired the destruction of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Only by lying about the nature of the human person could they accomplish their goals...
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If we take a careful look at T.S. Eliot, we shall see a born conservative, attached to certain austere traditions of previous ages, and yet one who saw clearly that those traditions had worn thin—they had grown conventional and insincere because no one had bothered to establish...
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Not only was Flannery O’Connor one of the most important Christian Humanists of the twentieth century, but she also well understood what made Christian Humanism what it was. While it might very well be conservative, it was always imaginative, allowing one to imagine what must be conserved...
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Religion “works,” in Edmund Burke's view, when it stands apart from the whims of those who practice it. Only then can it enable self-discipline, give meaning, and provide a real sense of the sacred and the sublime in life... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series...
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Tradition in action gives rise to new work, and the new work changes the tradition... At a gathering of Wyoming Catholic College faculty and staff on Monday morning, I had occasion to mention T.S. Eliot's seminal essay "Tradition and...