Category Archives: Thomas F. Bertonneau

The Gods, Atomism, and Ancient Greece: A Humanist’s View

The didactic poem On the Nature of Things by the Latin poet Titus Lucretius Carus (99 – 55 BC), the longest, most detailed exposition of the ancient doctrine of Epicureanism…

Richard Wagner: Revolutionary.

Richard Wagner: Revolution, and the Re-Founding of Humanity

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883) intended his mid-Nineteenth Century innovation of Music Drama to instigate a thorough renewal, not simply of art, but rather of the human situation, as writ…

Third Empire: Politics, Gnosticism and Christianity in the Modern Era

Paul Johnson, usually acute, prejudices the case against Henrik Ibsen (1828 – 1906) in the chapter that he devotes to the instigator of modern drama in his Intellectuals (1993), where…

Herodias of Flaubert

The action of Flaubert’s Herodias, one of the Trois Contes or Three Tales of 1877, occurs on the birthday of Herod Antipas or Antipater, the Hellenized “Tetrarch” of Judea who…

H. G. Wells: Mysticism and Machinery

Those who might nowadays think of Herbert George Wells (1866 – 1946) – they run to fewer and fewer with the passing years – will rarely, or perhaps never, have…

The despiritualization of the West: reflections on Nicolas Berdyaev

My long-term ongoing project involves reading backwards into the critique of modernity, resurrecting from the archive writers who fifty, seventy-five, or even one hundred years ago, intuited prophetically where such…