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The Good, the True, & the Beautiful

In the novel Death Comes for the Deconstructionist, the protagonist confronts a character who feels isolated within the academy. Their dialogue, in part:

“…I am nearly extinct. There are very few of us left.”

“Us?”

“People who believe in the old triad of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. And in the ability of reason to help us discover all three. People who believe in the ind and the imagination and the spirit as more than chemical interactions — and who value greatly the creations that result when those things engage the world. People who believe that all these things offer us protection against chaos and meaninglessness and totalitarianism and ‘might is right’ and, yes, against injustice.”

That got me to thinking: if somebody said, “I want to cultivate in myself an ability to see the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, to embrace them and to defend them in a hostile culture,” which books would you tell them to read to get started? How can they — how can we — begin to understand why the Platonic triad is important, how they can be identified, and how they are linked? Open thread.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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