Insider Secrets for Reading Great Literature

Today I provide a roadmap for the course of this blog. Climb on the bus and I’ll show you some insider secrets for reading great literature.Continue readingInsider Secrets for Reading Great Literature

Joe Schmoe Reads Genesis: Part 1

When an ordinary guy with no religious background, reads Genesis, he uses his ordinary reading habits to help him figure out what the story is all about. Today, he looks for the connecting thread.Continue readingJoe Schmoe Reads Genesis: Part 1

Digging for Treasure in the Bible

As we return to our series comparing accounts of the Great Flood, we need to recognize that Sacred Scripture hides its greatest truths from profane eyes.Continue readingDigging for Treasure in the Bible

A New Way to Think about Reading

To reclaim the great Western cultural tradition and live our Christian faith more fully, we need to relearn reading habits that helped shape that tradition.Continue readingA New Way to Think about Reading

The Secret to Reading Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor’s stories make most readers uncomfortable, but that is the point. And points are uncomfortable. If you just keep reading, you’ll eventually see what the point is, and that will make your discomfort worthwhile.Continue readingThe Secret to Reading Flannery O’Connor

Gilgamesh 1: Context of the Flood Story

To read such as the Epic of Gilgamesh with understanding, we start by considering what kind of literary work it is: Rhetorical context.Continue readingGilgamesh 1: Context of the Flood Story

Eternal Truths versus Mere Facts

Too often, the modern world’s dogmatic faith in scientific “facts” makes us blind to more important truths. Ancient historians such as Livy knew that truth transcends mere facts.Continue readingEternal Truths versus Mere Facts

Plato and Truth in Fiction

Some believe Plato condemned fiction as a lie, but in fact his dialogues prove that he believed fiction can bring us closer to the truth.Continue readingPlato and Truth in Fiction

Why Civil Society Needs Great Stories

This address, which I delivered recently to the Dallas chapter of the St Thomas More Society, sums up how I believe stories help to form our moral character, and why they are so important to creating a virtuous society.Continue readingWhy Civil Society Needs Great Stories

Poetic Truth according to Vico

Giambattista Vico’s rather eccentric theory of Graeco-Roman history helped me see that some truths simply can’t be expressed adequately in “plain words.” For this, we need poetry, which provides concrete analogies for ineffable realitiesContinue readingPoetic Truth according to Vico

Grace and Purification in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation”

Every single one of Flannery O’Connor’s stories is about the transformative action of Grace in the soul – usually the soul of someone self-satisfied like Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation.”Continue readingGrace and Purification in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation”

Epic Poetry and the Moral Imagination

Medieval Christian poetry transformed the concept of heroism so that, even in the godless modern world, heroes are expected to be self-sacrificing.Continue readingEpic Poetry and the Moral Imagination