Illuminations

High Praise & Mercy

In The Wild Orchid, followed by its twin, The Burning Bush, Sigrid Undset tells the story of a young and intelligent Norwegian man, Paul Selmer, who was raised by an unbelieving mother in all of the enlightened liberalism of the early twentieth century. That was when education—the great fraud and mumbo-jumbo of the age, as Muggeridge called it—and science and hygiene were to thrust religion from its place in the hearts of men, reducing it to a hobby or to a provider of songs to celebrate the new order of the ages. Blessed are the clean of flesh, for they shall see a good bank account, one healthy child of each sex, and . . .

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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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