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The Neo-Confucian Bluff

After being denounced during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) as inconsistent with Marxist ideals, Confucianism has made an astonishing return to official favor in China. In 2010, I participated in the first Nishan Forum, which marked a dramatic and orchestrated confirmation that Confucian . . . . Continue Reading »

Loyal to Death

Walter Scott once observed that although astrology, which had enjoyed almost universal credit in the middle of the seventeenth century, had become an object of ridicule by the beginning of the eighteenth, it still retained a number of devotees, even among the learned: Grave and studious men were . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

dark powersR. R. Reno’s “The Nazi Taboo” section in his “Public Square” (December) immediately piqued my interest, but I am still not sure where the thesis was headed. Is the sudden emergence of ISIS an example of our vulnerability to an “upsurge in primitive urges?” Certainly it has . . . . Continue Reading »

Bloodless Moralism

Dame Rebecca West had a theory that the history of civilization since Christ could be divided into three panels like a triptych. In the first panel, stretching roughly from the Crucifixion to the Middle Ages, the language of theology so dominated learned debate that all complaints were expressed in . . . . Continue Reading »

Waiting for St. Vladimir

Alasdair MacIntyre, who is probably the greatest living philosopher, concludes his 1981 masterwork After Virtue by saying, “We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another—doubtless very different—St. Benedict.” In that book MacIntyre argues that a correct understanding of morality is based . . . . Continue Reading »

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