11/01/1994

It is in relation to Percy as Southerner that we may look at his Last Gentleman (1966) as the most directly autobiographical of his novels. It is autobiographical in respect to family events, but more importantly to his own intellectual development in response to those events. Seen from this perspective, it is as if Percy's [...]

It is in relation to Percy as Southerner that we may look at his Last Gentleman (1966) as the most directly autobiographical of his novels. It is autobiographical in respect to family events, but more importantly to his own intellectual development in response to those events. Seen from this perspective, it is as if Percy's [...]

Talking with Mr. Percy

Walker Percy was certainly a gentleman, but not necessarily the last one. He probably thought it a gentleman's duty to try to ensure he's not the last, and so he was magnanimous enough to leave a legacy to his fellow travelers in the cosmos: six novels, three books of non-fiction, and now, thanks to editors [...]

For Those Who Believe God is Dead When I was a freshman in college I took a required course called "Man's Search for Meaning." One of the assigned readings was the Gospel of Matthew. It was the first time I had ever sat down and read one of the Gospels from start to finish. Unlike [...]

A Politics for a Fallen Humanity Any consideration of C.S. Lewis's writings on politics and culture must begin by stressing that he was not primarily a political philosopher. What Lewis did say about politics and society flowed from his understanding that Christianity illuminates all aspects of life in this world. With his characteristic vividness and [...]

The war of words continues. First we were told that Christian political activists, both Protestant and Catholic, comprise the "religious right," and now we are told they are not "Christians" at all. The initial imprudence of Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, widely criticized at first for her bigotry, is being echoed by others as the November [...]

Jacques Maritain was born in 1882 just three years after Æterni patris. By the time Maritain discovered St. Thomas, the Thomistic movement spurred by Leo XIII's encyclical was well under way. It was a movement that not only nourished his searching intellect, but one which he substantially enriched. He came to Thomas, he would say, [...]

[Ed. note: This letter responds to criticism of the statement on homosexuality published by the Ramsey Colloquium of which the author was a signatory. Deene Clark is the Protestant advisor to the students of Amherst College.] As you were sending on your piece denouncing the Ramsey Colloquium, you wrote to me, in a separate letter, [...]

The hand that signed the paper felled a city; 
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath, 
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country; 
 These five kings did a king to death. — Dylan Thomas Historical turning points are notoriously difficult to identify. While they are occurring, few notice, and even those who do [...]

The Cairo Conference on Population and Development was planned as the great triumph of International Planned Parenthood. The draft document was a Planned Parenthood wish list — $17 billion for contraception, abortion, and sex education. Under the guise of women's rights, and protecting women's health, the right to abortion was to be proclaimed a universal [...]

American religious leaders of many denominations have raised with me questions about the United Nations Cairo Conference on Population and Development and U.S.-Vatican relations. Consistent with this Embassy's commitment to keep Americans in formed, I would like to share with you my thoughts. The Cairo population conference made front-page headlines throughout the world. Much of [...]

I retired from the presidency of the National Right to Life organization in 1991 after serving in that capacity for ten years. In my final year I became increasingly distressed by a shift in national politics as many political candidates began to collapse into the pro-abortion camp. The pro-abortion gubernatorial victories in the fall of [...]

Examine your left wrists: How many of us wear mechanical watches? I lament the passing of the mechanical watch. I know that electronic timepieces and digital watches probably enhance punctuality, but they lack the moral message of the mechanical clock. My father, who was also my teacher and my rabbi, used to encouraged me as [...]

By now, we have greeted everyone with the famous words "How was your summer?" and have told everyone how ours was in response to the same question. We are delighted, even exhilarated, to be back on campus and to be with our friends again. We are happy to be back on what has now become [...]

I am writing this from the Eternal City. Although the October weather is sunny and calm, two major meetings are going on which give evidence of strong winds now buffeting the Barque of Peter. Despite the perfect weather, I am wearing two hats, one as a delegate to the International Congress on the Family, and [...]

Far be it from me to be judgmental. The names that my friends give to their own children are their business. But ever since my otherwise sensible college roommate named his first-born daughter McKenzie, I've been off the reservation. What do girls' names like Jordan, Chandler, Avery, Cassidy, Haden, McCall, Brooke, and Brittany have in [...]

Somewhere, in Belloc's Hills and the Sea (1906), which Scott Walter gave to me, I recall reading a remark about November — that it was "the loneliest month." I cannot now find this particular line or its context, look though I may. I was sure I had underlined it, as is my habit. In any [...]

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world knew Him not. He came to His own home, and His own [...]

Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon is a plea for standards in literary studies, a defense of those great works in our tradition which until quite recently have more or less uncontestedly made up the core of a humanistic education, and some charming reflections on some of the main figures and their writings. In the course [...]

Nearly four hundred years of criticism and interpretation of the works of William Shakespeare have provided the world with a body of work which is itself as complex and illusive as Shakespeare's own plays and poems. Books and articles abound on topics such as Shakespeare the Atheist, Shakespeare the Catholic, Shakespeare the Freudian, Shakespeare the [...]

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