Relational Order
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This is my contribution to Cindy’s Book Club on Roots of American Order. In chapter 8, Kirk describes the shift toward modernism that began in the civil wars of seventeenth century Britain. A fundamental paradigm shift occured during this time that allowed a previously untenable concept: a secular government. Societies have always been built on the foundation of a shared religious belief. And just what allowed this shift? A changed belief about what man is. And I was struck with … Read More

Incarnate Order
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This is my contribution to Cindy’s Book Club on Roots of American Order. [Christianity’s] principles demanded a new sort of heroism, more severe than that of the Law of the Jews, more sacrificing of self than the old Roman virtue. Out of this teaching there would rise what were to be called the Christian “theological virtues” of faith, hope, and charity. Faith To have faith is to respond morally, through an act of will, to God’s love and wisdom: to … Read More

Virtuous Order
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More posts on Chapter 4 of Roots of American Order can be found at Cindy’s blog. Kirk says the Roman concept of virtue was one of “energetic manliness.” T.S. Elliot points us to the three main concepts of Virgil’s concept of Roman virtue: labor, pietas, fatum. Labor Virgil emphasized the dignity of labor. Physical, manual, even menial labor is not servile, but builds fortitude, builds virtue. Work is a necessary virtue, not a necessary evil. He [Virgil] knew that we … Read More

Universal Order
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This is my little tangent for Cindy’s Book Club on Roots of American Order. Other posts on chapter 3 are linked here. Restoring Justice Lacking unity of purpose, self-control, and prudence, the Athenians had flung away everything they had gained since Solon had restored justice in the commonwealth. Certainly I could use that quote to take a shot at American society right now, but that would hardly be productive. What if, instead, I put it this way: Lacking unity of … Read More

Transcendent Order
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This post is a part of the book club Cindy of Ordo Amoris is hostessing on Russell Kirk’s Roots of American Order. This week’s posts are all collected here, and my previous post was “Order, the First Need of All.” Civilization, culture, is an outworking of religion, of shared beliefs about the order of the universe. That is true whether we are speaking of a small society of a family or of a church or the larger society of a … Read More

Order, The First Need of All
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“This book emphasizes certain institutions and customs and certain ideas and beliefs which continue to nurture order in the person and order in the republic, down to our time.” Ok, I was just going to participate in Cindy’s latest book club on Russell Kirk’s Roots of American Order by reading along as best I could and commenting on other people’s posts, but the first chapter of the book sparked my writing itch. There is no way I can write summary-style … Read More