Influencing politics through culture

THE ACADEMY OF PHILOSOPHY AND LETTERS was founded in recognition that the direction of society is set by its most deeply held beliefs and aspirations. These are molded by culture in the broad sense, as represented by universities, the arts, churches, publishing, museums, and entertainment. Acting on the minds, imaginations, and moral-spiritual sensibilities of a society’s members, the culture shapes their general perception of reality and their likes and dislikes—for good or ill. Politics does not operate independently of the culture but reflects it. Though politics can also shape culture, being able to exert educational and other cultural influence is ultimately more important than winning elections. Major and long-range change presupposes a transformation of the culture. Read More

CALL FOR PROPOSALS:

The APL invites submissions for presentations at our annual meeting on May 27-29 in Baltimore, which pertain to the panel topics below. Submissions should identify the appropriate panel among those listed and include a 250 word abstract. Presentations must be no more than 15 minutes in length and no accompanying paper is required. The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2016. Please submit your proposals to garrison@roanoke.edu.

1. The Things of God and Caesar: Theoretical Perspectives on the Benedict Option

This panel will facilitate discussion of cultural separation at conceptual and practical levels of analysis. Presentations with diverse philosophical and theological foundations offering assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the Benedict Option are encouraged.

2. Russell Kirk and the “Mecosta Option”

This panel will discuss cultural separation through presentations on Russell Kirk and his theoretical and practical efforts to defend political engagement and commitment to things outside of politics. Presentations addressing theoretical, biographical, and practical aspects of Kirk’s thought and legacy, with a view to how such information should shape thinking about the Benedict Option, are encouraged.

3. The Benedict Option and Scale

This panel will discuss how the Benedict Option may or may not be connected to larger questions about the scale of American politics and governance. Presentations interested in assessing cultural separation through the lenses of broader American debates over the locus of political authority – decentralism, federalism, subsidiarity, and secessionist movements – are encouraged.

4. The Benedict Option Upon Us?

This panel explores areas of civil society that have already begun the process of community-building in a manner that is deliberately separate or apart from the mainstream culture and asks whether events are in fact moving in the direction advocated by supporters of the Benedict Option. Presentations addressing issues such as education and home-schooling, the local food movement, church formation/splintering, etc. are encouraged.

Conferences copyDSC_0297 copy


LATEST APL NEWS

Annual APL Conference, May 27-29, 2016

Our Annual Meeting will convene on the weekend of May 27-29, 2016 at the Baltimore Doubletree Hotel.
November 13, 2015

Chas Freeman Keynote Address at Annual APL Conference

Read retired US Ambassador Chas Freeman’s keynote address at the APL annual Conference. “Too Quick on the Draw: Militarism and the Malpractice of Diplomacy in America.”
June 13, 2015

Read more APL news.