domingo, 12 de marzo de 2017

Worried about the breakneck pace of change, overwhelming social upheaval, the breakdown of the family, the sexual revolution, the disintegration of Christianity, and the tsunami of technology?

Essays of the Week

by Joseph Pearce
If we could all argue in the manner that Chesterton argued, without ever quarreling, how much better our beleaguered world would be. If we could dialogue with our friends and enemies in a spirit of charity we would all be much happier and, more to the point, we would all be much closer to the truth of things. Although I am not as good at the art of argument as was Chesterton, I have him as my model and my mentor, which means that I try to argue without ever quarreling. This was the case in a recent exchange with a journalist from England, who has worked for the BBC and with two of the UK’s national newspapers, The Guardian and The Independent. I would like to share our dialogue, or our argument, because I think it shows how we can agree to differ without wishing to bludgeon each other into submission...

by Dwight Longenecker
Worried about the breakneck pace of change, overwhelming social upheaval, the breakdown of the family, the sexual revolution, the disintegration of Christianity, and the tsunami of technology? Like a pair of Noahs, Rod Dreher and Anthony Esolen have produced two powerful books for Christians facing the flood.  Crucial to both men’s call for action is an understanding of just how terrible the tsunami of anti-Christian culture really is. Mr. Dreher diagnoses with great accuracy the dreaded disease of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism that infects great swathes of American Christianity. Mr. Esolen sees how the decline of sacramentalism and the rise of social relevance has led to the irrelevance of religion. What is the answer? ...

by T. Renee Kozinski
You will know a real Christian as one who steps into the sewer with others, to be Christ. God has no use for the educated and the pious unless they see that piety is a duty, fundamentally, to follow Him to crucifixion, to ignominy, to self-death, out of the abundance of love that they, as a true icon of Him, bring. Christians who live so that they are never contaminated are useless, and they are liars, because we are all contaminated more seriously than we can imagine if we have ever seen a human soul as it was meant to be. We work to build a culture of love and beauty, the beauty of the monastery and the liturgy, but we don’t do it because we want an uncontaminated, sterile test-tube to save for later. We do it so that there is a true icon of heaven, knowing we are just the imperfect tools, knowing with the true joy only the selfless know that it may be built in a way that we cannot imagine...

by Andrew Balio
The problem is not that classical music has not kept up with the times. On the contrary, it has become sick and lost, caught in an identity crisis, because it has very successfully kept up with the times–and our society is in deep aesthetic and social crisis. We are collectively in denial, or at least a state of forgetting, about human nature and the human experience. Classical music, as one of the permanent things, points us back to the truth. It is little wonder that in an age of ideology, the truth, or what points to it, is in danger. We are not going to be able to escape who and what we are: A traditional European music, with at least half of its parental lineage traced back to the Church; highly competitive and meritocratic; elitist; with a widely loved, hierarchical canon composed by dead, white, European men. Let it be what it is, for it surely cannot be what it is not...

by Sheldon Vanauken
To take first that enormous and seemingly irrevocable shift from Paganism to Christianity, we have seen a greater—the de-Christianizing of Western society. It is still incomplete, of course, just as there were lingering pockets of Paganism in the disintegrating Roman world. But one often hears today of “post-Christian.” And we’ve all heard references to our returning to paganism. That, at least, is nonsense. We are not about to see a President struggling to slit the throat of a milk-white bull in front of the Capitol as an offering to the gods or grave Senators spilling libations on the floor of their chamber. To say we are returning to Paganism from Christianity is rather like saying that a married woman recovers her virginity by divorce. Paganism like Christianity was a devout belief in divinity—something beyond and above man. Thus, the shift from Paganism to God Incarnate, great as it was, was a lesser shift than this: from God Incarnate to Man himself.... 

by Bradley J. Birzer
For several years now, Nate Schlueter and Nikolai G. Wenzel have been debating, discussing, and wrangling over what it means to be a libertarian and/or a conservative. Which is a better fit for humanity? Which is a better fit for the American republic? And, what is the actual difference between the two? Even if one disagrees with the authors of Selfish Libertarians and Social Conservatives, they have provided a scholarly model for how the media and academia should act: in calmness, in restraint, but also with open vigor and manliness. Squaring off with each other, Dr. Schulueter takes the conservative side and Dr. Wenzel, the libertarian. Throughout, however, evidence that each man is an advocate of the liberal arts, the Great Books, and the western tradition shines through in each of the arguments presented. No mere stuffy academics, these two men are truly fine writers and thinkers... [MORE]

by Alexander Salter
Public debate about free trade will probably never be settled. Economists perform a valuable role when, each time the issue arises, they educate the public about the actual consequences of the public’s naïve policy preferences. This is a proper function of social scientists in their capacity as teachers and citizens. But economists also impugn the integrity of their discipline when they make uncritical statements about efficiency and its desirability. Such claims are not only rhetorically unpersuasive; they also lower the esteem of economic science in the eyes of educated students of the humanities, as well as the public at large. Economics can only protect the public from itself if economists recognize the limits of their discipline...

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