loader from loading.io

130 – Cultivating Kirk with Jeff Nelson

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 05/02/2023

155 – Melodic Musings with Barney Quick show art 155 – Melodic Musings with Barney Quick

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

How might music point us to the good, the true, and the beautiful?  What is the purpose of music, and we are guilty of misusing it?  Why are we so obsessed with Taylor Swift?  Musician and conservative journalist Barney Quick joins Josh to discuss how conservatism might better inform our approach to music.  Also discussed are whether or not the elephants can be saved at all, how an owning-the-libs approach misses the spirit of conservatism, and whether or not Principles First has lost its first principles.   About Barney Quick Barney Quick is a journalist whose work...

info_outline
154 – That Old Burkean Saw with Cal Davenport show art 154 – That Old Burkean Saw with Cal Davenport

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

After a stint of episodes taking deep dives into obscure topics, Josh returns to some conservative first-principles by inviting long-time friend of the podcast Cal Davenport on for a wide-ranging discussion on whether or not the fusionist consensus is truly dead, why all the energy in the Right seems to be going towards the NatCons, what’s leading to the rise of populism, how to repackage conservative ideas into digestible slogans, who belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of conservative thought, and how Edmund Burke factors into all of this.  Trigger warning for the Straussian listener: this...

info_outline
153 – Full-Time with David Bahnsen show art 153 – Full-Time with David Bahnsen

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

David Bahnsen returns to the podcast to discuss his latest book: .  David holds a high view of work and, in an era where self-help gurus are teaching us how to work less to achieve a work/life balance, David wants to shift the paradigm to work/rest and celebrate the productive nature of our being.  Also discussed in this episode are what the church gets wrong about work, how each generation brings different challenges and advantages to work culture, universal basic income (UBI), whether the Marxist are right and work under a capitalist system is exploitation, and what the future of...

info_outline
152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck show art 152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Fusionism—the viewpoint advocated by the likes of William F. Buckley and Frank Meyer of order and liberty mutually reinforcing each other—has been the dominant form of conservatism in the United States for a generation.  In the era of Trump and the rise of nationalist populism on the Right, however, fusionism has steadily lost influence.  Should conservatives double down on what’s worked in the past?  Or is it time for a different approach that was advocated by some of the original critics of fusionism on the Right?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is...

info_outline
151 – The God of This Lower World show art 151 – The God of This Lower World

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the single most important virtue for a leader to possess?  What quality can make the run-of-the-mill politician into a statesman?  Is it integrity, communication skills, resilience, courage, empathy, or wisdom?  All of these things are important, of course, and if any are sufficiently lacking we wouldn’t call that a good leader.  But what would you say is the chief virtue?   Conservative thinkers from Burke to Kirk to Kristol to Strauss and even many of the ancient and medieval thinkers from Aristotle to Plato to St. Thomas Aquainis identified a single virtue...

info_outline
150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan show art 150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the purpose of higher education?  Is it primarily to prepare us for the jobs of the future?  Is it to ensure the leaders of tomorrow hold the right opinions on important issues?  Is it to provide a safe haven for the pursuit of Truth?   Thinkers on the Right have held differing—sometimes incompatible—views on the purpose of higher education.  Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is returning guest Luke Sheahan to explore these arguments and how conservatives might respond to the rise of radicalism and wokism on college campuses.   About Luke...

info_outline
149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian show art 149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Having published more than forty books on an astoundingly wide range of topics and holding noteworthy positions at the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, the University of Oxford, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the University of Buckingham, Sir Roger Scruton was the quintessential British gentleman and scholar.  He was also one of the greatest conservative intellectuals of the last century and the beginning of this century who died in 2020.  Fisher Derderian joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis for a woefully incomplete exploration at the legacy of...

info_outline
148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels show art 148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The Saving Elephants podcast has welcomed a wide array of incredible guests who are on forefront of the conservative political movement.  But most of the guests discuss conservatism from the perspective of a theory or set of principles or idea.  Few have had the opportunity to enact political conservatism as a practice.  And few ex-politicians have been as successful as former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in advancing conservatism as a practice.  While Daniels is reticent to label his approach “conservative” or identify as part of red team vs. blue team, his practices...

info_outline
147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve show art 147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

One of the strangest political developments over the past several decades has been the devolution of the Religious Right and large swaths of politically active Evangelicals as they morphed from character counts moralists of the 1990s to MAGA Trumplicans.  Regardless of the merits of where the Religious Right stands today, one could be forgiven for being perplexed at how they arrived here at all.   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is JB Shreve, creator of podcast and blog, to demystify the Religious Right’s conversion to the Church of Trump.  Both JB and Josh were...

info_outline
146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman show art 146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What does is mean to be an American?  And why do we Americans obsess so much over the question of what it means to be an American?  This nagging question has plagued our nation since its birth and various national “myths” have been advanced to offer some form of national identity and cohesion.  At times one myth has proven stronger than the others, only to be overshadowed as historical events call its sufficiency and truth into question.  So where does that leave us today in an era of collective, existential crisis?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Perhaps no other individual (or person, for the benefit of the Kirkian insider) was more responsible for resuscitating intellectual conservatism back to life in the mid Twentieth century than Russell Kirk.  Today, Kirk’s efforts to recover and conserve the “Permanent Things” lives on at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.  Co-founder and Vice Chair of the Russell Kirk Center, Jeff Nelson, joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to explore the legacy of Russell Kirk and its lasting impact on the conservative movement today.

 

About Jeff Nelson

From the Kirk Center bio:

Jeff Nelson co-founded the Kirk Center with Annette Kirk and is currently Vice Chairman of the Center’s Board of Trustees.  He served in 1986 and again in 1989 as Dr. Kirk’s personal assistant.

 

Dr. Nelson is Executive Vice President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, Delaware).  He also served as president of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, NH).  He received his B.A. at the University of Detroit, an M.A. at Yale University Divinity School, and was awarded his Ph.D. in American History at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

 

Dr. Nelson founded ISI Books, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s now nationally recognized publishing imprint, in 1993.  Under his direction, more than 110 books were published.  During that time he also edited two respected journals of thought and opinion: The Intercollegiate Review and The University Bookman, and is publisher of Studies in Burke and His Time.  He also is senior fellow of both the International G. K. Chesterton Institute (Toronto, ON) and the Centre for the Study of Faith and Culture in Oxford, England; and he is secretary of the Edmund Burke Society of America.

 

Dr. Nelson has edited two book collections: Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk, and Perfect Sowing: Reflections of a Bookman by Henry Regnery; he co-edited an award-winning treasury of the historian John Lukacs’ writings entitled Remembered Past; and was project director of the popular national college guide, Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America’s Top Schools.  Dr. Nelson was featured in a New York Times front-page news article about a major reference work he co-edited, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia; and he is series editor of The Library of Modern Thinkers.  Jeff Nelson is a frequent and popular guest on radio and television talk shows across the country.

 

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffOttoNelson

 

About The Russell Kirk Center

The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal is located in Kirk’s ancestral village of Mecosta, Michigan.  It is at its heart a residential research and study center, a community of fellow travelers that lives together in the Center’s six cottages, and gathers in the Kirk Library of some 15,000 books and in the family house, where ideas and community join in what Dr. Kirk used to describe, borrowing from Tolkien, as the Last Homely House.  Like his hero Edmund Burke, Kirk is a perennial thinker, anti-materialist and a Christian humanist.  At the Kirk Center and in the writing of Kirk, generations connect, community and tradition live, the politics of prudence and humility extolled, and imagination, religion, and key societal beliefs, practices, and institutions studied with a view toward cultural renewal.  Inspired by Russell Kirk, the Kirk Center cherishes the Permanent Things as the best way to enliven the conservative mind and to re-enchant our world.

 

And so I hope listeners of this podcast will visit the Kirk Center website, kirkcenter.org.  Sign up for the Center’s newsletter, Permanent Things, and find great classic Kirk content regularly curated by Cecilia Kirk Nelson.  Finally, one of the premier conservative book review publications, The University Bookman, posts new book reviews each weekend and has its own weekly e-newsletter that features reviews and interesting content from other groups and podcasts, including the occasional Saving Elephants episode.

 

Book Recommendations

Here are four of Jeff Nelson’s book recommendations on Russell Kirk:

 

First, James Person’s Russell Kirk: A Critical Biography of a Conservative Mind is a wonderful introduction to Kirk and the key areas of his thought.

 

Second, as mentioned, Bradley Birzer’s Russell Kirk: American Conservative is a thoroughly researched standard biographical treatment that is both insightful and lively.

 

Third, Gerald Russello’s The Post Modern Imagination of Russell Kirk is one of the best analyses of Kirk’s thought and the role that both ideas and imagination play in it.

 

Finally, for a discussion and application of Kirk’s understanding of the Moral Imagination, especially as a kind of process or mode of knowledge, through the prism of great children’s literature, Vigen Guroian’s Tending the Heart of Virtue is especially good.