The Fusionist Mind of Stephen Tonsor ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Tonsor adopted the fusionist project but ultimately transformed it into a civilizational mission that went far beyond American politics. He believed that the Roman and Anglo-Catholics who comprised the traditionalist wing of the post-World War II conservative movement in the U.S. represented the last hurrah of Catholic humanism in the West to that point. In previous ages, Catholic humanists had risen up to help the Church prevail against the Roman Empire, Germanic invasions, Protestant Reformation, and Modern Age. Beginning in the 1960s, as late modernity began transitioning to postmodernity, Catholic humanists were called on, once again, to fight a culture war – this time in a battle of the books that drew in positivists, Marxists, nihilists, statists, and postmodernists. When Tonsor and other Catholic humanists confronted modern and postmodern movements, they did not just reject them outright. Rather, the task was to sift and weigh and test contemporary thought for what was wheat and what was chaff. Whatever was true, good, and beautiful in modern-postmodern thought could be – should be – baptized and redeemed. 
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