Tag Archives: John Ralston Saul

Political Heroes


Written in 1992, resonant today:

“[B]y the end of the eighteenth century a whole new type of public figure had to be invented: individuals who could—as Mussolini would have it—make the trains run on time. Napoleon was the first and is still the definitive model. These Heroes promised to deliver the rational state, but to do so in a populist manner. The road from Napoleon to Hitler is direct. Indeed, most contemporary politicians still base their personas on this Heroic model.”

— John Ralston Saul, in his book Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, in a chapter entitled “The Theology of Power”

Advertisements

Babel, Tower Of


In The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, John Ralston Saul offers this opening to his entry, “Babel, Tower Of” —

“Multilingualism remains the source of movement and growth in a civilization. The ability to fill the house of reality, intellect, and imagination with different furniture is a great pleasure and a great strength.”

Voltaire remained a practicing Roman Catholic to the end


“By the way, according to Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, Voltaire, the emblem of Enlightenment rationalism, never stopped attending Mass during his lifetime, and he got the Catholic burial he requested.” — from Artur Rosman’s post, “Catholic Historian Takes Back ‘Secular’ Enlightenment

Faith, doubt, speculation, and wonder


As the Dallas Cowboys and my Washington Redskins duke it out tonight, I’ve been compiling a list of essays, poems, and books. The purpose behind this list is to give some editorial context to LiturgicalCredo‘s potential contributors.

The list, which I’ll reproduce below, represents a mix of faith, doubt, speculation and wonder — the kinds of thoughts and attitudes represented in LiturgicalCredo.

“On Stories,” an essay by C.S. Lewis, from On Stories: And Other Essays

“Recovering Evangelical: Reflections of an Erstwhile Christ Addict,” an essay by Todd Shy, from Image No. 51

“Giving Up Jerusalem,” an essay by Jeanne Murray Walker, from ImageNo. 40

“The Gift of the Call,” an essay by Christopher Bamford, from Parabola, Fall 2004

“Love Calls Us to the Things of This World,” a poem by Richard Wilbur, from New and Collected Poems

The Nobel Prize Lecture on Literature by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Prayer” and “All Souls’,” poems by Dana Gioia, from The Gods of Winter

The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

“501 Minutes to Christ,” an essay by Poe Ballantine, The Sun Magazine, August 2005

“Thread,” an essay by Stuart Dybek, found in Imaginative Writing by Janet Buroway

“Useless Virtues,” a poem by T.R. Hummer, from Useless Virtues

The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense by John Ralston Saul

Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book, nonfiction by Walker Percy

Love in the Ruins: Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World, a novel by Walker Percy

Thomas C. Oden’s introductory essay to Parables of Kierkegaard 

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People,” short stories by Flannery O’Connor, from A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories

A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction by Ron Hansen