Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Reconnecting with Reality: An Interview with Caleb Stegall, by David L. Jones:
"My reading is pretty eclectic. All of the larger-than-life personalities from the 16th Century—Luther, Erasmus, More, Rabelais, Shakespeare—for the way they straddle and bind together two great ages of western history. The English conservatives from Samuel Johnson to John Ruskin, and American founders like Franklin and Adams for the way they kept this synthesis alive against increasing progressive pressures. In the 20th Century: Eliot, Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Eric Voegelin in political philosophy, Wendell Berry and other American agrarians in the Jeffersonian tradition, Theodore Roosevelt, all for their veneration of the Christian tradition as the antidote to modern liberalism touched by their zest and zeal for living-for a 'thick steak, a frosted stout, and a good cigar' to borrow from Chesterton, or 'laughter in the garden' as Eliot had it. I can even appreciate Ayn Rand for sheer American chutzpah. That is what I think the best of the English/American tradition has to offer: the can-do spirit of the American frontier, drunk on a child-like wonderment of the world and its mysteries, all bounded by and put in service of the deep wells of the Christian tradition and of the Church."

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