Orthodox Liturgical Music as an Experience of Culture

After I published my Call for a New Christian Culture, I received much positive feedback. But lurking behind it all was the heavy question: how? Well, I hope we’re all learning about the how together as I post more and more on this blog. But in the meantime, I’d like to offer one avenue that isn’t often considered as ripe for culture creation. Liturgical music. Too often the world of liturgical music…

Is Realistic Fiction or Speculative Fiction a Better Form of Culture Creation?

This past week, I was at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Pennsylvania engaged in a work of culture creation. Benedict Sheehan, the director of the music program at the seminary, recently completed a new liturgy that a professional choir performed, then recorded. I was involved in both, to my great joy. But the time commitment for both was significant, and so I have no new post this week for my readers. However, I…

Ivan Ilyin: The Problems of Christian Culture

In last week’s post, I offered parts of Ilyin’s introduction to his never-before-translated work The Foundations of Christian Culture. In that introduction, he diagnosed the spiritual problems of modernity in a way frighteningly prescient for a man writing in 1937, before WWII, the Cold War, and the Sexual Revolution. He followed the introduction with a section where he discusses the problems that attend a specifically Christian culture: How is Christian culture even possible…

The Crisis of Modern Culture: Ivan Ilyin’s Opening Salvo

In about one month, I will be presenting a lecture on the creation of Christian culture at the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference. Part of my presentation will be a brand new translation of Ivan Ilyin’s fascinating work on the subject of The Foundations of Christian Culture. It has not, as far as I know, ever been translated. But it deserves to be studied and considered by all culture creators, especially because of the…

How a Group of Young Russians Create Culture with Music, and Other Stories

After I published my manifesto A Call for A New Christian Culture, a rich discussion began in the comments. Most people provided suggestions or helpful criticism. A few seemed overwhelmed by the idea of culture creation. Some laughed at it outright. It’s not simply neo-Romantic mumbo-jumbo. I’m talking about rolling up your sleeves and working with people to recapture an experience of something they didn’t even know they were missing. To help…

Why Digital Minimalism Is Integral to Culture Creation

It’s rare that a book grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. It’s even more rare when that book is, essentially, a self-help book. But what if that self-help manual tells a profound truth about one’s culture and times in a way that no one else seems to be able to? Then it becomes a manifesto, a call to a new way of life. This is exactly what Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism is.…

What Aristotle Can Teach us About the Power of Literature

Part of what I hope to achieve with this blog is not only a theoretical basis for cultivating a new Christian culture. I hope to show practically how it can be done. To begin that rather difficult process, I’d like to share the first half of a paper I wrote for my philosophy class in Holy Trinity Seminary. I hope this paper inspires your own input in the comment section. The Death…

St. Augustine: How to Best Engage with Secular Culture

Another week, another story about how Harry Potter books are being publicly burned by Christians. This time, the group in question included African tribal masks as well as some other objects in their bonfire. So at least it wasn’t only books. Never mind that it was in Poland, and the Polish, more than most, should remember how much the Nazis liked to burn books. I’m actually not trying to start an angry…

Scruton and Peterson on Apprehending the Transcendent

Every other Friday, I will offer subscribers of this blog videos, articles, and podcasts on the subject of culture creation. These are people who inspire with their mind, who humble with their talent, and who point a possible way forward for the creation of a Christian culture. This week, I’m happy to begin with a discussion between Sir Roger Scruton and Jordan Peterson in Cambridge University. This is a fascinating glimpse into…

A Call for a New Christian Culture

The hum of air conditioning and the drab tan walls of the hotel conference room faded into the background as soon as I entered the already buzzing atmosphere of the WMG Anthology Workshop in Las Vegas. Fifty people absorbed in conversations with old friends that they hadn’t seen in a year. A stage adorned with just as much pomp as a medieval king’s feasting table. And there I was, brand new to…