Illuminations

Festal Joy

by Anthony Esolen

I have seen enough of secular life in the academy to make the following claim, which I have made in various forms over the last ten years: Man is united only from above, never from below. Only when he and his fellows turn their eyes toward the transcendent will they ever forget their reasons for hatred or suspicion or mere separation from one another, and be brothers again. Irene Dunne, one of the Roman Catholic conservatives in Hollywood in the days when that sink of iniquity was still half-sane and half-decent, used to say that we will never know the brotherhood of man without the fatherhood of God.

The only thing quick about the secular academy in . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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more on music from the online archives

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