Enlightenment

Rethinking the Enlightenment

“We are victims of our century,” wrote one of the Carmelites of Compiègne before going to the guillotine in 1794, “and we must sacrifice ourselves that it be reconciled to God.” Attacks on Catholic churches, anti-Christian elites, and suffocating political correctness—the eighteenth century witnessed cultural conflict every bit as intense as our own today. Yet … Read more

The Key to the Bastille: Learning from the Past with Benedict XVI

“Show me what a man remembers of his past,” the late Fritz Wilhelmsen once said, “and I will tell you what kind of man he is.”  Like Friedrich Nietzsche, Wilhelmsen was inclined to bold affirmation and even bolder denial, and was wont to frame his statements in the irrefragable terminology of metaphysics. The gallant Thomist … Read more

Who Burned the Witches

Since the Enlightenment, rationalists have liked to cite witch burning as a prime example of medieval ignorance and religious (usually Catholic) bigotry run amok. (Leftists today still denounce it as a cynical plot by the strong against the weak.) Writing history that way was simple: Historians catalogued horrors, disparaged religion (or at least someone else’s … Read more

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