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Western Civilization

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Caesar has crossed the Alps, his mighty soul Great tumults pondering and the coming shock. Now on the marge of Rubicon, he saw, In face most sorrowful and ghostly guise, His trembling country's image; huge it seemed Through mists of night obscure; and hoary...
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Without a major autodidactic push to learn the classic works that formed our civilization, the West’s storehouse of knowledge is in serious danger of becoming nothing more than an artifact... In one of my favorite scenes from the movie Seven, Morgan Freeman’s character gets...
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How could anyone vote for him?” “How could anyone vote for her?” In a contentious election between candidates with historically high disapproval ratings, voters across the country were asking such questions, incredulous that their fellow Americans could...

Editor's Note: On September 4, 2014, Boris Johnson gave this lecture at the Legatum Institute, in which he drew parallels between Athens and London and examined how the experiences of democrats in the 5th century B.C. can help to preserve London’s unique metropolitan character today.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeSjF2nNEHw Books on...

In what was, perhaps, Edmund Burke’s best writing, the Anglo-Irish statesman had argued in favor of the moral imagination, a way by which one sees the reflection of God’s glory in another. He then concluded that section of...
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Dwelling on Delphi: Thinking Christianly about the Liberal Arts, by Robert Woods (Westbow Press, 2016) We live in a curious moment in Western history. Despite the past few decades’ real technological and material advances, which the...
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Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 2016) Robert R. Reilly was the music critic for Crisis magazine for sixteen years,...
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The Dynamics of World History, by Christopher Dawson, edited by John J. Mulloy. (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1956) None of the disciplines has been more adversely affected by the increasing fragmentation and social dissolution...
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That Western culture is in an advanced state of decay is, I would guess, an article of faith for many readers of The Imaginative Conservative. But consciousness of this decay goes back further than many people are probably aware....
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"The East is another name for the West"—Sufi proverb In Memory of Stephen J. Masty T.E. Lawrence When, in happier days, she was inscrutable "Arabia," and felix the plucky cognomen-ex-virtute honoring a mythological lineage...

There’s a chilling image from my youth that I’ve never been able to scrub out of my mind. It might not seem at first glance to amount to much. It was a blue spiral spray-painted on our street,...
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Editor's Note: This is the third and final essay in a series; the first essay may be found here; the second may be found here. Analyzed Partial Responses Two other responses to...
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Unanalyzed Responses Anxiety and deep insecurity are the characteristic responses evoked by the crisis in tradition. To experience them, it is not necessary for a people to be actively aware of what is happening to it. The proc­ess...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Robert Royal as he considers what brought about Western Civilization as we know it. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher Where did “Western” Civilization...