Anthony Esolen

Dr. Anthony Esolen is the author of 28 books on literature, culture, and the Christian life, whose most recent work is In the Beginning Was the Word: An Annotated Reading of the Prologue of John. He and his wife Debra also produce a new web magazine, Word and Song, devoted to reintroducing people to the good, the true, and the beautiful. He is a Distinguished Professor at Thales College

Books by esolen

recent articles

The Papacy, Doctrine, and Development

The pope is not a free agent. His authority, humanly considered, flows from his submission to and dependence upon Peter, that fisherman, that first pilot of the bark of the Church.


In this land we live in now, people are so dis-integrated that they have often no love for the bodies God gave them but, instead, must have them mutilated, just as their families so often have been.

Soccer Over Dogma?

In spite of the pope’s seeming preference for soccer over dogma, proclaiming the truths of the Catholic Faith—i.e., being “dogmatic”—leads to more joy and happiness, not less.

The Bad Samaritan

Our church leaders are ignoring the wounded man lying in the ditch to “minister” to the thief who attacked him.

Avoiding the Hard Work Needed

While the world was being overwhelmed by the Sexual Revolution, too many Church leaders decided to ignore the hard work of opposing it while appearing busy by meddling in affairs which needed no fixing.

Overschooled and Undereducated

The purpose of schooling—which is not the same as education—is to encourage people to express confident platitudes, which they are pleased to call their opinions, about things they know nothing of.

The Terror of Tenderness

Kindness, American style, detached from the Man upon the cross, has turned sour and sickly. It can justify anything.

When Love Isn’t Love

We sometimes do not love those people or those things we think we love. We may also love and not be aware of it. But the human heart, without grace, hardly beats at all. It is a tangle of vipers, and when it beats, it squeezes out its poison.

The Loss of the Heart of a Human Community

Every closing of a church is a knife to the heart of a real human community. In Canada the people feel it more keenly perhaps than in America. You did more than meet your neighbors at Mass; you met fellow travelers on the way to the four last things.

The Temptations of the Intellectual

Intellectuals often suffer from a deep vanity, the emptiest of all manifestations of envy or pride. But their intellect often leads them to accept the most stupid of ideas.

The Skies Are Darkening

As the storm approaches, I have a strange kind of calm. I know that my wife and my children love me, so that’s all right; and I do trust that they know I love them. But a man wants something other than that. We need to be needed. 

Restoring the Rules of a Healthy Society

What we want are all the habits and customs that teach boys and girls from the beginning that they are meant for one another and that bring them together in merriment. Which means rules.

Get With the Times

The pope has not bothered to call upon those faithful who love the old rite to speak with them. He has spent less time critiquing the old rite than he has spent belittling that small portion of the faithful who will not go along with his disdain. 

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