Monday, October 17, 2016
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
I. IntroductionThere can be little doubt that George Grant (1918-1988) and Robert Crouse (1930-2011), for different reasons, were two of the most significant Canadian Anglican intellectuals of the latter half of 20th and first decade of the 21st century. Grant was a public intellectual in a way Crouse never was, but Crouse had a depth to him (in his many probes into the Patristic-Medieval ethos) that Grant did not. Grant challenged the ideological nature of liberal modernity at a philosophical and political level in a way Crouse never did, but Crouse, in a detailed and meticulous manner, articulated and enucleated the complex nature of the Patristic-Medieval vision in a way Grant did not. Both men were deeply concerned about the passing away of a more classical vision of the soul, church and society and both attempted to retrieve the discarded image. Crouse was much more of an Anglican churchman than Grant, but Grant engaged the larger public square in a way Crouse never did.
I have been fortunate, over the last few decades, to do in depth work on George Grant and I have many a letter from Sheila Grant (George’s wife) on life at Dalhousie-King’s (where George began and ended his academic life). I also have many a letter from Robert Crouse, many a fond memory of visits with Robert (some fine photos also) when in Nova Scotia or when Robert visited the West Coast (Robert bunked in at our home). My interest, therefore, in the Anglican life and writings of George Grant and Robert Crouse is both of some academic interest but also of a personal nature. Hopefully, this essay will embody and reflect both these approaches.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Editor's comment: In 2006, the Georgia Straight published an article asking if PM Stephen Harper was properly termed a Tory. The article focused on Ron Dart's insights into the 'Red Tory' tradition. The article is an interesting read as a retrospective of the Harper regime.
Milton Acorn was Canada's "people's poet". He was a founder of the Georgia Straight. There was a time when his poetry readings filled union halls across the country with adoring legions of communists, feminists, and student activists.
Stephen Leacock was the founding father of the Canadian sense of humour, but he was also the chairman of the political-science department at McGill University. His Arcadian Adventures With the Idle Rich was a bestseller in Moscow in the heady days following the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
Just a few steps from the plot where Leacock is buried, at Sibbald Point, Ontario, is the grave of Mazo de la Roche, who was once Canada's best-loved novelist. She authored the internationally acclaimed Jalna series, which was a sort of multivolume, epic Brideshead Revisited.
Then there was Eugene Forsey, proud Newfoundlander, socialist, Rhodes scholar, and constitutional expert. He was a founder of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, the forerunner of the New Democratic Party.
Apart from being dead, the thing these people have in common is that they were all Tories.
Here's another Tory: Ron Dart, a prolific, polymathic, and very-alive political-science professor at the University College of the Fraser Valley.