Putting the Demos on a Pedestal

Wichita, KS [Cross-posted to In Medias Res] In the preface to Why Liberalism Failed, the manuscript of which “was completed three weeks before the 2016 presidential election,” Patrick Deneen wrote that “the better course”—at least for all those persuaded by his book’s arguments a … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 10 hours ago

Whither Brexit?

Debates over the fate of the nation-state are largely driven by the fundamental problem of how we respond to guilt in a post-Christian age. Our politics will thus reflect the growing division between those who still believe the Christian message about forgiveness and those who wi … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 day ago

Money, the Wild, and the Metaverse

“Living as Humans in a Machine Age.” Registration is now open for our fall conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Paul Kingsnorth will be the keynote speaker, and we’ll post the full schedule soon. We’re looking forward to a great weekend with friends old and new. “Money.” The new iss … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 3 days ago

Spider-Man Has Lost His Place

Spider-Man now devalues human-scale kindness and decency by questing in the multiverse, and ideological rigidity and swift judgment have replaced his former nuance and virtue-seeking. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 4 days ago

What Tocqueville Couldn’t See

Faith and reason aren’t opposed any more than freedom (the rallying cry of Patriots) and distributive justice (the rallying cry of social justice warriors) are opposed! | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 6 days ago

There’s No More Room: Toward an Anarcho-Pastoralism

What I’ve just attempted to describe are the joys of the edge. Freedom, I believe, has a limited half-life when it’s in the heart of civilization. Anarcho-pastoralism means that there’s the most freedom near the edges, but freedom-lovers are ever in a struggle to move outward. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 7 days ago

Blessings to Impart

What’s stopping you from blessing your yard, neighbors, and neighborhood, your watershed, the land you drive over everyday? Bless the world, literally, and with your being. Offer it up to the one who has created it and cares for us all. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 8 days ago

College, Conservation, and Computers

“What College Students Need Is a Taste of the Monk’s Life.” Molly Worthen explores the possibilities that college offers for helping students unplug from their devices and think deeply: “We need an intervention: maybe not a vow of silence, but a bold move to put the screens, the … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 10 days ago

A Twenty-First Century Agronomic University: The Maurin Academy

We use the experience of the JPII farm not only to learn and improve over time but to inform our audience of the realities and pitfalls of attempting this way of life. We have learned the hard way that small steps and incremental improvements have to be treated like great victori … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 11 days ago

Ferenc Hörcher On Roger Scruton

Ferenc Hörcher comes to us from Budapest where he is a professor of political science and philosophy. He is the author most recently of Art and Politics in Roger Scruton’s Conservative Philosophy from Palgrave Macmillan. He is a leading scholar on the writings and thought of Roge … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 12 days ago

A.I. Doesn’t Cause Cheating. Fear Does.

Front Royal, VA. How do you catch a cheater? This is the question that is plaguing the minds of college and high school faculty across the country this spring. No longer can we rely on our own good sense and knowledge of the literature or the help of tools like Turnitin.com to de … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 13 days ago

A Local Look at the Meanings of the Founding: A Review of The Nation that Never Was

After excluding less plausible interpretations like Roosevelt’s, I think the Old Testamentish version of the Founding is the most defensible: the Founders left us some good principles which later were often disregarded, but which brave men and women in later eras fought for, ofte … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 14 days ago

A Beautiful Farm?

These benefits and this healing can only begin to happen when beauty is allowed once again on the farm. One cannot truly have a good farm without it. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 15 days ago

Payne Hollow, Ice Cream, and National Parks

“Thriving on the Fringe of Society.” Carrie Blackmore Smith describes the life that Harlan and Anna Hubbard made at Payne Hollow and the work now being done to restore and preserve their home: “Turcotte is glad the property is being preserved, saying the Hubbards’ way of life can … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 17 days ago

Observing Limits to Re-enchant a Mute World: A Review of The Uncontrollability of the World

Even Rosa the respectable sociologist entertains the possibility that if we relearned how to listen, the mountains might speak. Perhaps they too have their spirits, mute but waiting. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 18 days ago

Are Americans Better Off?

Let’s just say you’d better have great discipline and a very rich interior life if you expect to be happy amid great affluence. If this is true of individuals, that money doesn’t buy happiness, why can’t it be true of a whole society? | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 20 days ago

Silage and the Silence of the Corncrake

I’ve been talking to elderly friends here in the Irish countryside about what they used to do when the sun shone. The answer, of course, was that they made hay. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 21 days ago

One Homeschool Year: A Local Story in Four Seasons

One learning outcome I had in mind for this academic year was to teach all students to close the bathroom door when using the facilities. Alas, we seem to have failed at this. But our Greek curriculum has gone swimmingly. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 22 days ago

David Foster Wallace, Brian Doyle, and Francis Fukuyama

“Fresh Cliché.” In a wise essay that puts David Foster Wallace in conversation with Wallace Stegner, Matt Stewart gives two cheers for clichés: “Surely there are phrases that are lazy shortcuts; we can often choose complacency when courage is what is really demanded. But even if … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 24 days ago

Composition as the Art of Loading Brush

Instead, we have the opportunity to spur students to true and healing composition through the exercise of creativity, precision, care, and nuance. The best analytical writing assignments in the future may read a lot less like a traditional essay and more like poetry. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 25 days ago

John Herreid & Contemporary Catholic Art

John Herreid is editor of a new art compilation from Ignatius Press titled The Catholic Home Gallery: Eighteen Works of Art by Contemporary Catholic Artists. We discuss the dying world of good used bookstores, what makes authentic art, and how to DIY your way to beautiful art on … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 26 days ago

The New House, The New Life

I fear that neither liberals nor most self-styled conservatives want to reexamine the habits, both economic and sexual, that have impoverished the working class, set the middle class on the wheels of a machine that literally sends their extra income up the chimney, and eviscerate … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 27 days ago

Antonin Scalia: A Man for All Seasons

Antonin Scalia’s judicial legacy was ratified on June 24, 2022 as the Supreme Court effectively overturned Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 28 days ago

Hospitality, Exile, and Mushrooms

“Hospitality from the Front Porch.” Bethany Hebbard describes how a front porch lifestyle promotes genuine hospitality: “If you actually have a front porch or balcony, then I what I am about to say should apply to those literal spaces. However, fret not if you don’t have a real p … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

From the Editor — Local Culture 5.1

here are many such images, as many images as there are places where good folk deep in this life perform the communal rites of place. Several of them are collected here in this issue of Local Culture, the first and I hope not the last devoted to food and drink. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Good Conversation and the Talking Cure: A Review

One cannot really have a book about conversation alone. Conversation is so much a fruit of individual persons and their relationship to one another, that a book about that fruit must be one about how to become a deeper, better, more complex and interesting person. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

A Journey to Right Worship: A Review of Learning to Love

I was encouraged by Sosler and all the many ways he connected love and knowledge to the journey that a rightly ordered education invites students to take. The infilling of knowledge and wisdom is a gift of God, and Sosler is a welcome guide, the best of docents, for students and … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Prophetic History: A Review of A History of the Island

Contemporary sensibilities tend to prefer the nihilist abyss to such salvation, even as we pathetically pursue the latest "cure" for that emptiness—be that radical politics, surgical revisions to our anatomy, or compassionate medical assistance in dying. It looks patronizingly at … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

AGI, Hiddenness, and Grace

“We Must Slow Down the Race to God-like AI.” Ian Hogarth gives a sobering assessment of the unpredictable ramifications of AGI: “I thought about my four-year-old who would wake up in a few hours. As I considered the world he might grow up in, I gradually shifted from shock to ang … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

An Extraordinary School for Girls: Learning the Things You Wish Grandma Taught You

It is daunting to envision running a pleasant, blessed household. This is why we're not meant to do it alone. Women are meant to flock together, with their words and their hands, to keep one another safe and to make the world more joyful. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Cyber-Sophistry, or How ChatGPT Unmasks the Emptiness of AI.

AI is the culmination of an ideological fantasy of elite control, woven into the very infrastructure of commonplace media technologies. When it gets used to talking to us, we may get used to talking to it, and at that moment, the legacy of human culture is at risk. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

On Milosz, Exile, and Humane Art

Was it his commitment to truth in art that ultimately preserved his faith? Perhaps—God may have worked in that mysterious way. He seemed, late in life, to come to an acceptance, a peace, and he embraced more fully his Catholic faith. In the end, he went quietly, full of years, ab … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

The Power of Place: Payphones

The value in seeing payphones is the way it develops a practice of seeing. So often we are driving or walking down streets, unaware of what serves us no purpose or where we aren’t heading. Looking for things forces you to notice things. Sometimes it will cause you to turn around … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Cruises, Liberty, and Plastic

“Nature is Healing.” The Lamp recently put this essay online, and it’s a doozy. Stay all the way to the end of Sam Kriss’s haunting meditation in living in a digitized world: “I took to going on virtual holidays, flicking around the Greek islands on Google Maps: warm grey peaks, … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Bono’s Search for Home

To hear that message of tough love for which he seems to be yearning, those who represent the church to Bono will have to have the courage to break through the aura of celebrity and invite a searcher into the true home he is looking for. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

A Sabbath Reflection on Artificial Intelligence & the Human Body

Will we distance ourselves from machines that, like carnival attractions, buzz and ping and light up with those grand prizes of ease and efficiency so that we might remember Christ’s body by way of our bodies? Or will we offload our humanity to those devices that hate our embodie … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Man Without A Village: A Beast Or A God?

Genuine community only arises when we need one another, and to the extent that we can fool ourselves into thinking we’re self-sufficient, we will find ourselves living in Frankenstein communities as beastly demigods, doomed to forever contrive chitchat or wave awkwardly to people … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

That Dog Won’t Hunt!

Whether hunting or watching TV at home, you will never be alone with a good dog by your side.  Dixie and I may never get another bird, but a bird hunt is a great excuse to get out of the office, away from a lunch at the faculty lounge, away from this or that electronically amplif … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Diversion, Leisure, and Beauty

“We’ve Lost the Plot.” Megan Garber details the consequences of blurring the lines between reality and entertainment: “Each invitation to be entertained reinforces an impulse: to seek diversion whenever possible, to avoid tedium at all costs, to privilege the dramatized version o … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Learning to Love the Brazos with John Graves

With some little local knowledge now in mind, I too may, day by day, attune myself to the Way, How ever imperfectly I go about What I am striving to do. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

The Power of Place: Northern Exposure and South Side

Places shape us and provide the contours of our communities. And despite the grittier dramas, the grip that a place has on us is not always all about past crimes and complicated emotions. Sometimes even a place we can’t seem to “escape” can be a source of pleasure or comfort in s … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Tree Tipping

Many Marches ago, a tree cracked in half, and my life began to change into what it’s become today. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

A Plunge into the Mythic Wood: A Review of Seren of the Wildwood

Here is what Seren of the Wildwood has done for me: it’s rekindled my love of narrative poetry. Once I have read several of my old favourites, I’ll read it again, and then I’ll move on to the rest of Youmans' work. In the meantime, dear reader, put your order into Wiseblood Books … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

Conversion, Catan, and Vinyl

“Arcs of Life.” Matthew Loftus considers the claim that all suffering is bad and should be eliminated: “Yet taking this dictum and making it into a law is at the root of many evils. What if the pain can’t be fixed? How does the Baconian project bring us to see the suffering it ca … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 1 month ago

‘Art Will Touch Lives’: An Aging Farmer Adds a New Dimension to his Ministry

Ralph's art might never grace the walls of collectors or galleries or museums in his lifetime, but he knows from experience art’s potential to draw crowds that can encounter the gospel. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 2 months ago

Updating Homer for Sensitive Modern Readers: A Tongue-in-Cheek Proposal

As we reflect on the importance of this work in ensuring that Homer remains appropriate and enjoyable for future readers, we can surely agree that it is fully worth it. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 2 months ago

A Community of Aliens

I continued to stumble on, frequently forgetting my own story, seeking evermore opportunities for dislocated, immortal, heroic freedom from the chains of that finite, particular history. It was only a gradual awakening to a far deeper reality that radically changed the course of … | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 2 months ago

I Gave up on March Madness Brackets

I’ve been thinking about Chesterton’s croquet essay a lot during March Madness. Watching games without the specter of a ruined bracket to kill my vibe, I find myself drawn more to basketball itself than to who wins and loses. | Continue reading

@frontporchrepublic.com | 2 months ago