“18th Century Fox”: Helen Rittelmeyer Is Hilarious

in AmSpec, on Burke-era popular conservatism: TWO THINGS ALL  conservatives love are narratives of decline and talking about conservatism. Put those together and you have the popular argument that conservatism ain’t what it used to be. The chart of that supposed decline, if you were to draw it Ascent of Man style, would start with Edmund Burke looking intelligent and walking upright, followed by William F. Buckley as Australopithecus, slouching. The present age would be represented by some knuc … [Read more...]

From “History in the Comic Mode,” a festschrift for Caroline Walker Bynum

The point of writing history is not...  somehow to cleanse ourselves, as it were, of the taint of the past--the humanist/Reformation/Enlightenment project of exposing the past as past and cordoning it off behind the fence of anachronism.  Rather, it is to allow ourselves still to be touched by the past. --Bruce Holsinger and Rachel Fulton Brown; via Millinerd … [Read more...]

“Does Religion Cause Violence?”

a really excellent essay from William T. Cavanaugh. Excerpt: But what is implied in the conventional wisdom that religion is prone to violence is that Christianity, Islam, and other faiths are more inclined toward violence than ideologies and institutions that are identified as "secular." It is this story that I will challenge here. I will do so in two steps. First, I will show that the division of ideologies and institutions into the categories "religious" and "secular" is an arbitrary and … [Read more...]


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