Fra Filippo’s resplendent Madonna della Cintola, in the previous post, sent me to a favorite passage in The Waning of the Middle Ages. Johan Huizinga‘s portrait of the linchpins of the medieval world—the ideas that bound together religion, art, and literature—has a few things to say about relics. The significance of them to the culture that embraced them is an integral part of medieval civilization.
The distinctly corporeal conception of the saints was accentuated by the veneration of their relics, not only permitted by the Church but forming an integral part of religion. Continue Reading
Cultures proliferate. But as Roger Scruton reminded us, the thing called civilization is something altogether different. It is a commanding inheritance—a dynamic, comprehensive order that defends against dissolution into bedlam. The peril of our historical moment lies in the denigration of civilization by a multiplicity of parochial cultures. From feminism, gay culture, LBGTQ+ Nation (with its own flag), and transgenderism, to aggressive assertions of racial and ethnic primacy, we are re-tribalizing. Passion for multiculturalism is little more than an inversion of the barbarian’s jealous hatred for civilization. Continue Reading
“The Archbishop is on fire to defend the faith!” So began Maggie Gallagher’s June 3rd broadcast email touting Archbishop Cordileone’s “stinging rebuke” to Marin County’s DA for having dropped felony charges against vandals on the grounds of Mission San Rafael.
As executive director of the Benedict XVI Institute in San Francisco, Ms. Gallagher publicizes the activities of the institute. She also promotes the public persona of the archbishop, advisor-in-chief on the institute’s board. Acting as publicist, her first objective is a spring board for the second. Continue Reading
Today is Earth Day. This annual feast of eco-spirituality has been with us for a half century. It gains more converts every year. Its official patron saint is Gaylord Nelson, then-senator from Wisconsin. He stirred crowds on the first Earth Day with calls for new national policies that will “interfere with what many have considered their right to use and abuse the air, the water, the land.”
Campaign nationwide to elect an “Ecology Congress” as the 92nd Congress – a Congress that will build bridges between our citizens and between man and nature’s systems, instead of building more highways and dams and new weapons systems . Continue Reading
“Entertainment became the most obvious direct manifestation of freedom that liberalism offered humanity and, at the same time, the most tangible confirmation of the dominant status of the democratic man and his tastes.” So wrote Ryszard Legutko, an eminent Polish philosopher, statesman, and editor of Solidarity’s underground philosophy journal in the 1980s. His more recent The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies continues:
The omnipresence of entertainment was something by which the democratic man became easily recognized: it was his trademark, his coat of arms, his—so to speak—identity card. Continue Reading