Category: Liberal Arts

The World Becomes Light Again

I have long had an obsession with books. Since middle school, at least, I have loved to sit by a shelf and examine the titles, to arrange them, to examine their cover art, to read the summaries and flip through...

/ January 5, 2022

In Defense of Dante

I read Dante for the first time in my ninth grade English class at McNeil High School. I have hazy memories of my teacher lecturing about the first few circles of Dante’s inferno, but the mental image of the ninth...

/ December 27, 2021

Why Christmas Ghost Stories?

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is, surely, the most thrilling Christmas song. It’s the pre-chorus – that sudden lurch into minor chords. Glorious, glitzy euphoria suddenly hangs in the balance, your stomach drops out, and wonder is split...

/ December 20, 2021

Journey Into Understanding: Adapting George MacDonald’s Phantastes

Cave Pictures Publishing is creating a graphic novel adaptation of George MacDonald’s classic fairy tale allegory Phantastes, a work that famously was a major influence on a young C.S. Lewis. I got to discuss the project (currently on Kickstarter) with...

/ November 15, 2021

Portraits of Anxiety in Dostoevsky and Dickens

E.M. Forster wrote, “it is the function of the novelist to reveal the hidden life at its source.” In Aspects of the Novel, Forester explains that while it is the work of the historian to deal with the external details...

/ November 10, 2021

The Prophet of Re-Alignment: Reading Michael Lind in the Ruins of the Old Republic

It has become a tired cliché to lament the polarization of American politics, yet after a year that witnessed a post-election assault on the US Capitol, and in which even epidemiology became a partisan issue, few would contest the truth...

/ November 5, 2021

“Those Heathenish Christians”: John Robinson’s Warning to the Puritans and to Us

“You will say they deserved it,” wrote the Separatist pastor John Robinson in 1623, after he first heard about the killings. The recipient of this letter was Pilgrim leader William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth colony in America. Robinson had...

/ October 7, 2021

Why We Are Restless

Ben and Jenna Storey met while doing their doctorates at the University of Chicago. Ben is the Jane Gage Hipp Professor of Politics and International Affairs, and Director of the Tocqueville Program at Furman University. Jenna is Assistant Professor of...

/ September 16, 2021

The Sphere, 20 Years Later

It was love at first sight. Tall and statuesque, she cast a beautiful golden glow. To a 23-year-old Florida girl, she radiated the style and energy of my new city, and I wanted to be just like her. I sat...

/ September 10, 2021

100 Days of Dante

2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri (b. 1265). Dante was a poet, a politician, a philosopher, and a theologian. He is best known for his masterpiece, La Commedia, known to anglophone readers as The Divine...

/ September 8, 2021