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

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. 

The Lost Symbolism of the Liturgy

The pope warns against aestheticism. Rightly so. Aestheticism is to a full experience of beauty as sentimentality is to profound and genuine feeling. But it is not aestheticism to long for beauty, as it is not sentimental to long for love.

I Am a Restorationist

I have read too much, I have beheld too much, I have heard and sung too much. I am a restorationist. I am like someone who knows there are riches around a corner, and I want everyone to come and see. I can’t help it anymore.

Behind the Motives of Mass Shooters

Most politicians are looking at the means or the opportunity behind mass shootings. Instead we need to change a culture that motivates such shootings.

Let the Beautiful Creature Live

The unborn child is strange and familiar at once. Set aside all the muddle of your fears and desires, your resentment, your self-opinion, your politics, whatever. Look at that child. That was you, that was me.

Evangelizing the Post-Christian Culture

The Church’s strategy of evangelization has been to accommodate ourselves to the culture, reversing the words of St. Paul; we grow old and stale, conforming to the world.

A Church Without a Chest

“Men without chests” are those who lack any sense of the sublime, the beautiful, the homely, or the slovenly, the ugly, and the perverse. What is a Church without a chest?

Playtime for the Atheist

The only way to approve of or even condone any form of mock-marriage, homosexual or otherwise, is to deny that we have access to objective reality outside of our feelings about it.

Let’s Bring Back Gregorian Chant

Since Gregorian chant has not been banned, and since most people actually enjoy dabbling in another language once in a while, we might well inject the germs of beauty into our Masses.

Mourning the Loss

Modernism, as an ideological stance, is essentially iconoclastic. It exists principally by standing in judgment against what has existed, even when what has existed is profoundly and naturally human.

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