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The Real History of Paganism

It is intriguing to ask exactly how and why a particular positive idea of paganism became embedded in skeptical and secular discourse—and embedded so deeply, in many cases, that there seems little chance of public education dispelling it. Continue Reading »

Dark Age Theology

We are facing a Dark Age. In this new era, theology will need to be sparer, stripped of speculative distractions, courageously at home with death and the “other world,” and, most important, deeply engrossed in Scripture. Otherwise, the public face of the Christian faith will be washed away by . . . . Continue Reading »

Nordic Penelope

Oh, to be married in the Middle Ages! Your parents would select your spouse. Relatives and the local lord would consider and approve the choice; the clergy would do likewise and bless the bond before God and family, parish and town. You’d know what to expect about the rest of your life because . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rise of the Middle Ages

Johan Huizinga’s The Waning of the Middle Ages, as it was once known, is a hundred years old and has just been awarded the accolade of a magnificent centenary edition in a superb, fresh English translation. This lavishly illustrated volume marvelously enhances the reader’s encounter with a . . . . Continue Reading »

Becket and His Critics

The late philosopher Roger Scruton once told a ­Guardian journalist that he thought he had been “too soft” over the course of his life. The interviewer was taken aback: Scruton was known as a scourge of political correctness and academic fashion. But as Scruton explained: “I’ve tended . . . . Continue Reading »

Peter Damian’s Counsel

Sometime during the second half of the year 1049, Peter Damian, prior of the hermitage of Fonte Avellana in what is now the Italian region of Marche near the Umbrian border, wrote a lengthy letter to newly installed Pope Leo IX. The letter concerned “the befouling cancer of sodomy,” which Peter . . . . Continue Reading »

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