When Civilizations Collapse (Part One): Lessons from the Bronze Age Decline

2012, Apocalypto, Mad Max – we’ve all seen disaster movies depicting the chaotic events that lead to civilizational collapse. Often the events portrayed are cataclysmic, thrilling, and unexpected, resulting in great loss of life and destruction of property. We allow our imagination to run wild with possibilities when we envision society crumbling. Even so, throughoutContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part One): Lessons from the Bronze Age Decline”

Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

For a Roman emperor and the most powerful man in the world, Marcus Aurelius lived a notably uncomfortable life. Choosing a life of stoicism rather than comfort, Aurelius shirked the luxuries that his high status provided him. He slept in a simple cot with an animal skin rather than a comfortable bed. He worked incessantly,Continue reading “Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations”

The Gnostic Roots of the Trans Movements

Some things just won’t go away. Denim jackets, bell bottoms, vinyl – some things tend to creep back into the mainstream just when you thought society had finally forgotten about them for good. Not just fashion either: ideas have a habit of popping up again after thoroughly being put to rest years or even centuriesContinue reading “The Gnostic Roots of the Trans Movements”

Insights from Fulton Sheen’s Way to Happiness

The Venerable Fulton Sheen encouraged generations of the faithful through his radio and television broadcasts in the mid 20th century. The bishop’s words carried a weight unmatched in his popular television program Life Is Worth Living, where he spoke to a live audience without a script, often touching on important contemporary issues like communism andContinue reading “Insights from Fulton Sheen’s Way to Happiness”

Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World

At ThinkingWest we often discuss books that have stood the test of time. These “classics” arose from the tremendous impact of their ideas, masterful command of the language, and storytelling power – not from their physical appearance. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we often hear, but today we are going to do justContinue reading “Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World”

A Lost Practice: Coming-of-Age Rituals

The Man-Birth Far in the deserts of western Australia, among an ancient aboriginal people known as  the Mardu, a metamorphosis occurs. As a male member of the tribe reaches around 10 or 12 years old, elders knock out a tooth and pierce his septum. The boy is symbolically “dead” and must remain silent throughout theContinue reading “A Lost Practice: Coming-of-Age Rituals”

Modern Leadership and the Abdication of Responsibility

289 BC: The legendary Greek general Pyrrhus of Epirus leads an army of over 20,000 warriors to defend his homeland against his brother-in-law Demetrius’s invasion. At the head of the invading forces is Demetrius’s foremost general Pantauchus, whose army numbers perhaps 11,000. As the armies clash, heavy fighting ensues and the outnumbered Pantauchus seeks PyrrhusContinue reading “Modern Leadership and the Abdication of Responsibility”

3 Ways St. Augustine’s Confessions Describes the Fallen Modern World

St. Augustine of Hippo was born in Northern Africa in the 4th century AD. A bishop of the Hippo Regius region in Numidia, he is widely considered one of the most influential early Christians, mainly due to his prolific writings. Despite his saintly status, Augustine lived a worldly life before his conversion, and documented hisContinue reading “3 Ways St. Augustine’s Confessions Describes the Fallen Modern World”

Charlemagne: The Pupil and the Penitent

Charles the Great, known today simply as Charlemagne, is regarded as one of the most influential kings to ever rule. King of the Franks since 768 AD, he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800, uniting most of western Europe under one banner for the first time since the Roman Empire. UnderContinue reading “Charlemagne: The Pupil and the Penitent”

Christian Themes and Imagery in C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair

I recently revisited my childhood and cracked open C.S Lewis’s The Silver Chair, the sixth book in his acclaimed Chronicles of Narnia series. As a child the book was a personal favorite of mine – I always appreciated its straightforward adventure plot (boy and girl set out to rescue an enchanted prince from an evilContinue reading “Christian Themes and Imagery in C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair”