God, Humanism, and the Wilderness

In this essay of mine, published at Front Porch Republic (where I occasionally write), I reflect on the role of the Wilderness in inculcating a spirit of humanism, humbleness, and fruitio Dei and the Wilderness' relationship to proper philosophical conservatism (spiritualism, naturalism, and communitarianism). What makes the Wilderness a conservative value is what it represents … Continue reading God, Humanism, and the Wilderness

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (4/5): The Utility of Religion

Machiavelli was not a religious believer but believed in the social utility of religion. The question of God, salvation, and the immortality of the soul did not matter to him. What mattered to him was the reality of religion in life and how religion is useful for nations and why a nation’s vitality is tied … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (4/5): The Utility of Religion

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, VII: Islamism

In concluding our series in examining fascism, its roots, its concrete manifestations, and its legacies, we have noted what is fascism and what is not fascism.  The common threads of fascist thought include: the synthesis of the people with the state for militaristic and warring ends (since conflict defines life through and through), that fascism’s … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, VII: Islamism

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, IV: Nazism

Of all the fascist movements, German fascism (or “National Socialism”) is probably the most famous and least understood.  Fascism in Germany was the epicenter of the brief life of fascism, produced a number of intellectuals – serious and forgotten – from which we are able to derive a lineage of fascist philosophy.  While antecedent roots … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, IV: Nazism

Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche, (3/3): The Aesthetics of Horror and the Splendor of God

In this final exposition of Catholicism and the Gothic, we shall turn to the obvious in Gothic aesthetics and the quintessential characteristic of the traditional post-Carolingian aesthetic of Catholicism: The aesthetic of horror. “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom is an integral aspect … Continue reading Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche, (3/3): The Aesthetics of Horror and the Splendor of God

Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche (1/3): Depth, Depravity, and the Restlessness of Man

The image of the Gothic is something usually depicted as something dark, depressing, and horrifying. The Gothic was, for a time, nearly synonymous with Catholicism, especially in the Protestant world where Gothic was associated with darkness and superstition like Catholicism was depicted as being—and this was reinforced and propagated by British Gothic horror often being … Continue reading Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche (1/3): Depth, Depravity, and the Restlessness of Man

Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Avicenna is one of the most important Islamic philosophers of all time.  He is also the most famous of the Islamic Neoplatonists.  He is, like Augustine to the Christian tradition, sometimes considered the “philosopher of love” because of the importance of love in his thought.  We will unpack the basic philosophy of love from his … Continue reading Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Plato’s “Euthyphro”: The Death of Piety and the Triumph of the State

Plato’s Euthyphro is one of the more famous of the shorter dialogues.  Several of the major themes are brought up in the dialogue include theology, ethics, and filialism.  As such, we will briefly examine the major themes and their impact on philosophy and, by the end, we shall see how these seemingly unrelated issues are, in fact, … Continue reading Plato’s “Euthyphro”: The Death of Piety and the Triumph of the State