Dr. Johnson

The Liberal Religion

Some time ago I argued in a magazine column that liberalism has developed in recent decades from a rigidly secular political philosophy into a this-worldly religion with its own more or less developed though unsystematic dogma based on faith and a reciprocal concept of heresy, its own unwritten creed and sacramental system, a loose rhetorical [...]

Dr. Johnson: Man of Letters, Christian Moralist, Clubbable Man, and Noble Hero

James Boswell’s biography The Life of Johnson portrays a distinguished man of letters after whom a whole literary period was named: The Age of Johnson. To read of Johnson’s life (1709-1784) is to learn of an eminent man of learning whose love of literature, passion for truth, and genius for writing achieved extraordinary works of [...]

Why I Remain a Catholic

“Something had given him leave to live in the present.”  ~ Walker Percy A friend of mine sent me an email with this subject line: “A challenge for your blogging….” She included Elizabeth Scalia’s invitation to Catholics everywhere in the internet cosmos to write about “Why Do YOU Remain a Catholic”—an invitation itself prompted by [...]

Dr. Johnson on Why More is Not Better

Editor's note: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) anticipated G.K. Chesterton in wit, girth, and wisdom. In a short essay penned for The Idler (Number 85 of December 1759) Johnson foresaw the weariness of our age with its explosion of cheap blogs and online articles. It was the weariness of Chesterton’s age with its explosion of cheap journals [...]

#RealityIsReality

On May 2, 2013, Rhode Island, the most Catholic of these United States, joined the rest of New England in declaring that the sky is green and the grass is blue—or, rather, that a man can marry a man, and a woman can marry a woman, which amounts to the same thing. The two main [...]

Dr. Johnson’s Rasselas

A book of wisdom by the most eminent man of letters and renowned moralist in the eighteenth century who valued the practical truth of literature (“The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it”), Rasselas explores the most universal of subjects, the quest for happiness. [...]

The Desires of Man

At the beginning of each academic year, we talk of a desire to learn. We think we have developed institutions that facilitate this learning. True, we question the cost of a university education. Many students end with significant debts; jobs are often scarce. Many do not actually learn much in college, especially about the important [...]

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