Author Archives: Martin Cothran

The Three Cultures

man plays harp in graphic

they have become hard to distinguish from one another. These three harmonic cultural voices speak to us out of the past and are sometimes hard to disentangle. But we can draw some basic distinctions. Greek culture was artistic, literary, and philosophical. The Greeks invented representative art, drama, and philosophy as we know it today. The […]

Letter from the Editor Late Summer 2022: One True Sentence

hand writes on paper

In Ernest Hemingway’s book A Moveable Feast, he gives the best advice I have ever read on dealing with writer’s block. He tells you to sit down, take up a pen, and write one true sentence. That’s it. Just one true sentence. For example, I had writer’s block as I sat down to write this […]

Letter From the Editor Summer 2022: What We Have Forgotten About Teaching

Little kid standing

I was asked to speak to a gathering of classical educators recently on the issue of “pedagogy,” the science of how to teach and a word to which modern educators are very attached. One of the major points I made in my speech was this: Pedagogy is not the most important thing in education. It’s […]

Twelve Great Christian Novels

Twelve Great Christian Novels Picture

To say that a book is a great Christian novel obviously and necessarily implies two things: first, that it is great and, second, that it is Christian. Many of the books here are widely considered to be great, but there seems to be little consciousness that they are also explicitly Christian. Although Dostoevsky’s The Brothers […]

Letter from the Editor Spring 2022: Civilization by Candlelight

Civilization by Candlelight

The expression “dark ages” refers to the period of time after the fall of Rome in the fourth century A.D. until the resurgence of learning in Western Europe that started in about the eighth century. We  call it “dark” because the light of learning that had been ignited by the Greeks and carried on by […]

Letter from the Editor Winter 2022: Knowing Our Story

Railroad track runs on old photo

In Amor Towles’ new book, The Lincoln Highway, we find eight-year-old Billy Watson in a railroad freight car waiting for his brother to get back. It is the 1950s and Billy and his older brother Emmett are riding the rails east to New York from Nebraska. A man drops into the car. The boy strikes […]

How to Argue

How To Argue

When I worked in public policy many years ago, one of my jobs was to take long policy papers from think tanks and reduce them down to one or two pages for state lawmakers. I also wrote the scripts for a popular radio show called “Point/Counterpoint” on a very large network in which two people […]

Letter from the Editor Late Summer 2021: After Virtue

After Virtue

In 1981, a book was published by a well-regarded, but-until-then-not-terribly-famous philosopher. The book was called After Virtue; the author was Alasdair MacIntyre. The book sent shock waves throughout the academic community—shock waves that resonate even today. Some consider it the most influential book of philosophy published in the last fifty years. In the succeeding years […]

Archaic On Purpose: A Defense Of The King James Bible

Archaic on Purpose

It is an interesting irony that, at a time when so many Christians have abandoned the King James Bible, a prominent atheist should come forth to praise it. In celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible in 2011, the famed unbeliever Christopher Hitchens paid it gushing homage in Vanity Fair magazine, […]

The Story We’re In

The Story We're In

Walker Percy once speculated about a world in which the problem of death had been resolved, the eventual result of which was that everyone killed himself out of misery. For most people the quantity of life seems secondary to its quality. Mere survival may be adequate for beasts, but it is not so for rational […]

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