Author: David M. Wright

The Detail of Formation

The art of teaching and studying literature is in one sense very simple, and yet, in another sense, complex. We might ask, is “God in the detail” or is the “Devil in the detail”? To answer such a question, it helps to remember that the idiom “God is in the detail” appeared first and holds …

The Saving Power of Story

“Great works of art pass through us like storm winds, flinging open the doors of perception, pressing upon the architecture of our beliefs with their transforming powers …” – George Steiner One of life’s great little mysteries, if not ironies, remains the unpredictability of what children will grow up to do for their life’s work. …

Shadow & Substance

The contrast between shadow and substance singularly interested Shakespeare, as did the very nature of things themselves. He even makes use of profound concepts in logic, such as difference, property, and essence. In rhetoric, these are the topics of invention, for they concern the act of defining. So, then, let us define why we should …

The Freedom to Fail

In classical rhetoric, the divisio is the section of a persuasive speech that presents the division, the point at which the topic is divided into two opposing perspectives. Granted, many differences exist between traditional and modern education, yet where do the most fundamental of these divisions lie? What is the divisio when it comes to the topic (or “issue”) of education? I …

Of Thine Own Self Beware

Shakespeare (1564-1616) must have sensed these cultural changes deeply enough to predict and highlight the perils of individualism in some of his plays, namely Romeo and Juliet. In his time, and especially in the seventeenth century, the notion of the individual changed significantly in its relation to the church, the monarchy, society, personal freedom, the literary life, public and private life, and even …

Book Review: Ideas Have Consequences

  Though written in the late 1940s, Ideas Have Consequences, by Richard M. Weaver, remains more relevant and prescient than ever. The work, grounded in political philosophy, theology, virtue, and history, presents a piercing assessment of modern culture. Yet these fields are incorporated for the sole purpose of revealing the truth about our modern culture and …