Now a conservative is a person who sees human society as an immortal contract between God and man, and between the generations that are dead, and the generation that is living now, and the generations which are yet to be born. — Russell Kirk, 1957
The quote above is taken from a post entitled “No Conservatism Without a Religious Foundation” on The Imaginative Conservative (TIC) website. The post itself is an excerpt, but stands neatly as its own essay or column, reminding us that, “A society which denies religious truth lacks faith, charity, justice and any sanction for its acts.” It also calls to mind salvation history: we are a chosen people, whose covenant with God stands even today…and we should act accordingly.
I share it because it articulates, in a nutshell, so many of the topics and values we discuss as a group, and because once again, I am reminded of how poorly equipped I am to make a stand on behalf of faith in the public square. I need to be better read on these topics, and I need to read for understanding (study) rather than reading to have finished the book. I retain so little of what I take in these days, but I’m working on that, as well.
Here’s a good place to start: TIC’s “Ten Books That Shaped America’s Conservative Renaissance.” I am somewhat embarrassed to say I am vaguely aware of four of the ten of these books and can say with confidence I’ve heard of two of them. I own just one of them and have yet to read it. It may be time for a reading challenge amongst members of the Junto — X books in Y weeks or months. You pick your own list, so your list can reflect your personal interests, studies, or agenda, and post briefly on each one as you complete it.
A friend of this group at another blog did this once, years ago. He is still completing that challenge, but over the course of a summer, he read more great books than in his entire college career. Any takers?