Category Archives: Republic of Letters

Christopher Dawson Defines the West

I will happily admit, I never understand when folks try to define the West by skin color, skin tone, ethnicity, or some other random accident of life. It’s not about race, it’s about an idea. The West is, ultimately, about human dignity, liberty, and self-sacrifice.

Here’s Dawson on the issue.

“I still profoundly convinced of the importance of the need for the defence of the West, though it is important not to understand the expression in too narrow a political and geographical sense, as is often done.  In my view the West is a cultural tradition like that of Hellenism and one which has an even wider and more universal mission.  Now if in the time of the Persian War not only Ionia and Thebes had ‘medized’ but Athens also, and Sparta had been left to stand alone, as were after Dunkirk, the Spartans would have been justified in saying that they stood for the defense of Hellenism, even though Hellenism was a far wider thing than Sparta and Spartan culture by itself was not to be identified with Hellenic culture.  And if the Scythians or the Acedonians had risen against Xerxes and attacked his rear, and the Lacedemonians could have accepted their alliance with gratitude without feeling that they had ceased to stand for the cause of Hellenism.  One can extend the parallel by recalling that just as the defence of the West is being carried on today by the Americans and the Australians in the Pacific so in the days of the Persian War, Hiero was defending Hellenism against the Etruscans and the Carthaginians in the Western Mediterranean.  These are the Wars of the Gentiles.  But we must surely admit that there were spiritual issues in the struggle between the Persians and the Greeks, and so it is today though the issues for us are not so simple as for the men who fought at Thermopylae and Plataeae.”

Christopher Dawson to Walter Zander, Gerrards Cross, Bucks, 12 May 1942


The Fellowship of the Thing is raising funds for SECRETS of BLACKMOOR: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons on Kickstarter!

Volume 1 -The Evolution of Fantasy Role Playing Games (RPG’s)
— Read on

–for the truly nerdy among us (including yours truly), a history of DnD that is not Gygax-centered. I’m eager to see this.

The Gates of Vienna ~ The Imaginative Conservative

The organ is typically associated with bland church music, less favorite arrangements of Christmas carols, and haunted houses. But Mozart himself called it “the king of instruments,” and if the daring listener wishes to venture into solo organ music for the first time, then R. J. Stove’s “The Gates of Vienna” is an ideal starting point… (essay by Stephen Klugewicz)
— Read on

Under the Watchful Sky ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Good fiction deals with powerful themes and does so by embedding them in the plot line and character arc—so the word becomes flesh. This is the power of great drama and fiction: that we get caught up in the story and the emotion opens our heart, and as our heart is opened so is our mind. Author Roger Thomas understands this and delivers powerfully and effectively in his heart-thumping, page-turning novel with strong Christian themes, “Under the Watchful Sky”… (essay by Dwight Longenecker)
— Read on