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  • Can a Natural Disaster be a Symbol of Truth? The Indian Ocean Tsunami: a Voegelinian/Desmondian Meditation

    August 14, 2018

    “Now the Flood: water is the matrix of all life, but in deluge its creative indeterminacy overwhelms and swamps. Finite beings are flimsy, tossed around as flotsam. (DECEMBER 26, 2004: EARTHQUAKE BENEATH THE SEA, TSUNAMI – PARADISE ONE MOMENT, DROWNING DESOLATION THE NEXT.) Creative power is destructive power beyond…

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  • A Reading and Commentary on Michael Kirwan’s Political Theology

    August 13, 2018

    Political Theology: An Introduction. Michael Kirwan. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009.   Breadth and suggestiveness recommend this book to us. The breadth is reflective of the map of views offered us, largely from within England and Western Europe, and to some extent North America, other than the “better known”…

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  • John Rawls' "On Religion"

    August 12, 2018

    The discovery and publication of John Rawls’s senior thesis can be compared to the impact of the early writings of Karl Marx. It was only with the appearance of the latter that readers could gain an appreciation of the humanist roots of Marxian thought that, in its mature formulation,…

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  • 34rd International Meeting of the Eric Voegelin Society, Boston 2018

    May 28, 2018

    34th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2018 American Political Science Association Meeting, August 30-September 2 Boston, MA   David Walsh, Meeting Director [email protected]   Dear Friends, I look forward to seeing you all in Boston, or as many of you as can make it, for our annual…

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Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity. Samuel P. Huntington. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
The Big Sort. Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. Bill Bishop. New York: Mariner Books, 2009.
A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars. Andrew Hartman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Age of Fracture. Daniel…

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American conservative journalist, television commentator, and politician, Patrick Buchanan may be best remembered for his speech at the 1992 Republican Convention when he declared “[T]here is a religious war going on . . . for the soul of America.”  The speech was controversial for calling upon religious conservatives to “take back the culture, and take back our country” from a…

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Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State’s Challenge to Constitutional Government. Joseph Postell. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. 2017.
 
The administrative state was proposed during the Progressive Era as a scientific and therefore politically uncontroversial means of regulating American society and the American economy. Progressives demanded that constitutional government, with its real or alleged inefficiencies, corruption, lack of expertise, and bias in…

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Russell Kirk: American Conservative. Brad Birzer. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
 
In the past decade and a half, a slew of biographies have been written about Russell Kirk: James E. Person Jr., Russell Kirk: A Critical Biography of a Conservative Mind (Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1999; reissued by Rowman and Littlefield in 2015); W. Wesley McDonald, Russell Kirk and the Age…

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For more than fifty years, American conservatives have treated Eric Voegelin and Leo Strauss as fellow travelers. But for various reasons, that relationship and its contemporary legacy has been fraught with problems. What, then, are the points of continuity and discontinuity between the American conservative movement and these two political philosophers? Reflection on this question is fruitful not only for…

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Some of my best friends are men, so no offense. But Wonder Woman has me asking, what’s the point? What good are they?
In the blockbuster Wonder Woman, our heroine (played by the magnificent Gal Gadot) is a rewritten version of Artemis/Diana, from Greek and Roman myth. The Wonder Woman story makes Diana also a princess of the Amazons, the tribe…

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We should be grateful that, through some combination of human nature, civilization, and choice, most people act decently most of the time. But the reports of sexual exploitation in the news lately remind us that within the soul live forces of nature — some quite dark — not always contained by civilization or choice. Naïveté about the drives within us…

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Godless is not great, but it’s good. Netflix’s new television series enjoys every cliché of the Western genre: a train robbery, mustachioed marshal, prostitute with a heart of gold. Its recapitulation of the tradition manages to be quite contemporary because it touches on racial, feminist, and homosexual themes. Those with overactive PC-fighting antibodies might get hives, but fear not—the series…

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Are you being true to yourself? Should you? Better question: What in the world is a true self, anyway? In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius counsels his son:
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
But that’s mostly wrong. It turns out that being fulfilled, just, and…

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