Category: Political Theory

In the Perilous Realm: Tradition and Memory in “The Rings of Power”

At the waning of the year, looking ahead to the blaze of Christmas, I’ve been reexamining Amazon’s adventures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium. The first season of The Rings of Power was a moral muddle, but the story was strongest when...

/ December 21, 2022

Christianity Against the Civilizational State(s)

In his book Return of the Strong Gods, First Things editor Rusty Reno suggests that we are nearing the end of the long 20th century and, with it, the end of the American-centric global order that defined the latter stage...

/ December 12, 2022

Matthew 18 and the Public Square

We’ve heard this story dozens of times this year, the year before that one, going on for what feels like a generation: a schoolteacher is in the public discourse for apparently radicalizing students behind the backs of parents. Blast the...

/ December 2, 2022
j-r-r-tolkien

Tolkien Was Right: Notes on the Respect for Marriage Act and the Post-Boomer Church

Some time after his death, an editor was going through the papers and books in J. R. R. Tolkien’s library when he came across an old copy of C. S. Lewis’s pamphlet “Christian Behavior,” which would later be re-published as...

/ November 30, 2022
washington-political-engagement

The Case for Voting Third Party

These days, it’s hard to be a Christian who cares about politics—and public ethics, character, and the mission of God. On the one hand, our political system is a mess, with platforms pushing toward the extremes, and constituencies nursing rising...

/ November 7, 2022

Fight Progressivism. Be Liberal.

In 2017 and 2018, Notre Dame political philosopher Patrick Deneen argued that classical liberalism and progressivism are indistinguishable. Pick your metaphor: Progressivism is the fruit of liberalism’s poisoned tree. The liberal seed led inexorably to the progressive flowering. Or, liberalism...

/ November 3, 2022

Biblical Nationalism

Several months after the shocking naval victory at Salamis in the fall of 480 BC and Xerxes’ hasty retreat to Asia with his navy, a delegation arrived in Athens. Leading this embassy was Alexander I of Macedon, a longtime friend...

/ November 2, 2022

Resistance and Rebellion

(Excerpted from Protestant Social Teaching published by the Davenant Institute. Used with permission.) As the Reformation took hold throughout Europe, much ink and blood was spilt over the question of what is right to do when the government is wrong....

/ October 17, 2022

The Search for a Christian Nation: Christian Nationalism and the American Founding

“Christian Nationalism” and the Appeal to History Is America a Christian nation—or was it ever? This vexed question, debated for decades, has been given a new lease on life by the heated and sometimes obsessive conversation around so-called “Christian nationalism”...

/ October 4, 2022

Unions are Dead; Long Live Unions

Oren Cass’s book The Once and Future Worker is among the most important in living memory on the subject of labor from the conservative perspective. He instinctively gets that there is a pre-economic political relationship in which all economic activity...

/ September 23, 2022