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Young Heretics

Spencer Klavan

Society & Culture, Education, Unknown

4.94.4K Ratings

Overview

The classical education you never knew you were missing. Join scholar and writer Spencer Klavan on a tour through the great works of the West. In a world gone mad, we're not alone: the great men and women who went before us have wisdom to guide us. With their help, we can recover truth, beauty, and the stuff that matters.

237 Episodes

AI Demons: Allegregores II

Is AI taking on a life of its own? Or is it just a mindless machine? Sly grin why can't we have both? Some of our earliest Western literature is fraught with the suggestion that one day we might make a machine so complex, it would think for itself. But what would that say about us? Our new, allegregorical way of talking about AI shows that when we fear that our machines might be like us, we're really afraid that we might be like our machines. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: "A Matter of Taste" https://americanmind.org/salvo/a-matter-of-taste/ Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Subscribe to my joint substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 18 June 2024

Words, Words, Words 15: HWÆT!

Next time you want to get everyone's attention for a speech at a party, try this: stand up on a table, pound your mead-chalice on a hard surface (you've got a mead-chalice, right?) and shout HWÆT! No one will have any idea what you're saying, but they'll have no choice but to listen. That's the power of Old English. We've hit bedrock in our excavation of the history of English, which brings us to Beowulf and what Seamus Heaney calls "the coffered riches of grammer and declensions." Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute (now offering Old English instruction!): https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Mark Forsyth's books on curiosities of the English language: https://a.co/d/fxudMAn https://a.co/d/3A5XpbQ Live reading of Beowulf from Hillsdale: https://youtu.be/CH-_GwoO4xI?si=tQCTnID9A7gi5s5_

Transcribed - Published: 14 June 2024

Mother Nature Returns: Allegregores I

Mother nature is one of the most ancient pagan deities, and also one of the trendiest in modern times. What gives--why is a character whose name you can literally find carved into primitive rocks also being portrayed by Octavia Spencer in Apple PR campaigns? In this essay, I argue that Mother Earth or Mother Nature represents one of the most natural assumptions for humans to make about the world, transformed by the scientific revolution into something materialist, and now re-made via allegory into something very like the old pagan god. I call it, an "allegregore": a supposedly metaphorical way of talking that takes on a life of its own. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: Gateway to the Epicureans: https://a.co/d/2uyMIWw Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Subscribe to my joint substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 11 June 2024

Interview: Discovering the Great Books with Johnathan Bi

I really enjoyed comparing notes with Johnathan Bi, whose journey in some ways mirrors my own: whereas I moved from a humanities background into an interest in science, Johnathan started in the science and tech world, then came to appreciate the importance of great literature. Together we discuss the rise of generalism, the promise and perils of the AI age, and what the canon has to teach us in our unusual times. Take a look at Johnathan's website: http://greatbooks.io/ And his new lecture series: https://youtu.be/M0w2eQ-FcEA Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: Paradise Lost, the audiobook: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/p/paradise-lost Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Subscribe to my joint substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 7 June 2024

World's Wildest Travel Blog: Dr. Fauci, the Science, and the Return of the Pagan Gods

Will we ever get to stop hearing about Dr. Fauci? Does anyone even remember COVID anymore? These are the sorts of profound questions that define our times. I will not be answering them. Instead, I want to tell you a Very Young Heretics story about how the pagan gods found their way into modern science--and why they might be finding their way back out again in the age of "The Science" (TM). Plus: is listening to audiobooks the same as reading? No, but you should still do it anyway. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: Paradise Lost, the audiobook: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/p/paradise-lost Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Subscribe to my joint substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 4 June 2024

Words, Words, Words 14: The Father of English Literature

The prologue of The Canterbury Tales used to be part of a standard-issue training set in English courses. Today I'm RETVRNing to tradition and rebooting the old practice of memorizing--or at least reciting--the first few lines of this defining English poem in Middle English. Plus: should whisky be spelled with an -ey, or a -y? The answer will show you just what a carnival the English language is. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute (now offering Old English instruction!): https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Harvard's interlinear translation of The Canterbury Tales: https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/pages/general-prologue-0

Transcribed - Published: 31 May 2024

Beyond Cultural Christianity

Can Europe survive without its Christian spirit? Can the West? It's a question that's weighing on more and more intelligent people's minds, and Novalis helps us to grapple with it in a unique way. In this episode I look at three key areas--science, religion, and politics--where the secular spirit of Enlightenment humanism has exhausted itself and needs a new source of inspiration. Perhaps those sources are to be found in the middle ages, and perhaps Novalis can help us find them. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: "How Woke Hierarchy Created an Upper-Class Underclass," at The Spectator World: https://thespectator.com/topic/how-woke-hierarchy-created-upper-class-underclass/ Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Christendom or Europe? in a new edition, edited by Michael Martin: https://angelicopress.com/products/christendom-or-europe My review of Tom Holland and further thoughts on cultural Christianity: https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/the-anxiety-of-influence/

Transcribed - Published: 28 May 2024

A Brief History of Absolutely Everything

Are we on the brink of a return to Medieval wonder? A collapse into total warfare? Both? Bear with me while I present my Unified Field Theory of Human History in thirty minutes or less, by way of introduction to the mind-blowing essay "Christendom or Europe," by Novalis. He's the most important figure you've never heard of in Western literature, and now is the perfect time to get to know him, because he's going to be with us in the years ahead. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Christendom or Europe? in a new edition, edited by Michael Martin: https://angelicopress.com/products/christendom-or-europe

Transcribed - Published: 21 May 2024

A Brief History of Absolutely Everything

Are we on the brink of a return to Medieval wonder? A collapse into total warfare? Both? Bear with me while I present my Unified Field Theory of Human History in thirty minutes or less, by way of introduction to the mind-blowing essay "Christendom or Europe," by Novalis. He's the most important figure you've never heard of in Western literature, and now is the perfect time to get to know him, because he's going to be with us in the years ahead. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ I maked this: pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com Christendom or Europe? in a new edition, edited by Michael Martin: https://angelicopress.com/products/christendom-or-europe

Transcribed - Published: 21 May 2024

Words Words Words 13: Viking Visibility Week

This week we're going still further back in time, and further north, to read some Middle English from the tale of Gawain and the Green Knight. It's a galloping adventure that's been translated by some of the greats--including J.R.R. Tolkien--and reading the original is a good chance to practice dipping your toe into the more obscure forms of English that make the past feel like another country. Plus: how we appropriated Viking culture. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute (now offering Old English instruction!): https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Tips on pronouncing Middle English: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/cb45/middle-english-basic-pronunciation-and-grammar https://folgerpedia.folger.edu/mediawiki/media/images_pedia_folgerpedia_mw/1/1f/How_to_pronounce_Middle_English.pdf Recordings of expert readings: https://www.arthuriana.com/sggk-rendall

Transcribed - Published: 17 May 2024

Why Read? iPads, Culture Wars, and the Point of the Canon

So you want to defend the Western canon, huh? Why, exactly? In this episode I take a step back and ask why, outside of politics, we should care about books. Especially in the age of podcasts and digital media, with the publishing industry bleeding profits, it's easy to think of books as obsolete. But that might be exactly why we need them most--to hold ourselves together in a world of digital dissolution. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com We maked this: Lists of recommended works at The New Jerusalem. https://open.substack.com/pub/thenewjerusalem/p/list-16-brightness-visible?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Transcribed - Published: 14 May 2024

Words, Words, Words 12: English is a Foreign Language

Have you ever thought about how weird it is that our oldest English literature is somehow...in another language? If you want to become a better communicator, understand your own history better, and just generally have an awesome time reading cool stories about knights and stuff, you could do no better than to read the great chivalric tales of the English past. But how to start? Today I'm embarking on a new Friday series that will answer that very question, for busy people who want to read Aurthurian romances and have time to play Prince of Persia. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute (now offering Old English instruction!): https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2024

Doin' It Live: How to Read a Poem for the First Time

If you've never read a great work of literature before...where do you start? This week, in response to a listener request, I'm taking a poem I had never read before and walking through my process of getting to know it with you step by step. Hopefully, this will help give you some tips and pointers for getting acquainted with new authors and new ideas. If nothing else, by the time we're done you'll know which English queen helped make Shakespeare's career possible, what sorts of romantic entanglements can end you up in the Tower of London, and how to telegraph your sad boy vibes without getting your head chopped off. A review of Graven With Diamonds, by Nicola Shulman: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/graven-with-diamonds-by-nicola-shulman-2286444.html A podcast with Susan Bridgen, author of Thomas Wyatt: The Heart's Forest: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/not-just-the-tudors/id1564113869?i=1000554333559 Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com I maked this: "The Tale of the Brothers True," at Rejoice Evermore: https://open.substack.com/pub/rejoiceevermore/p/the-frat-bros-of-the-round-table?r=wm1tt&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Transcribed - Published: 7 May 2024

Words, Words, Words 11: The Translation Cinematic Universe

When it comes to picking a translation, which brands can you trust? Like streaming services and video game consoles, publishers are always competing for eyeballs, which means no one imprint is going to be able to gather all the best authors and translators under one roof. But here are some good rules of thumb to help you understand the lay of the land when it comes to choosing a translation or series of translations, so you always know what you're getting yourself into. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 3 May 2024

The Abolition of Sex: IVF, Designer Babies, and Goethe's Faust

Before C.S. Lewis, before George Orwell, there was Goethe: in Faust Part II, the magician's servant Wagner concocts a literal test tube baby--a "homunculus" or "little man" made without any sexual intercourse at all. This picture of humanity cut off from its natural origins is frighteningly familiar, and it leads to a final word on science, magic, and the coming age of genetic screenings. Where do we go from here? Only the past can help guide us into the future. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com We maked this: The New Jerusalem, featuring Andrew Klavan's latest essay on antisemitism: https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com/p/essay-4-antisemitism-is-the-devils

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

Words, Words, Words 10: The Holy Ghost Story

Why do we say "Holy Spirit" more often than "Holy Ghost"? It's not just because we're scared of things that go bump in the night. This week I'm taking a listener question about why "Spirit" and "Ghost" seem interchangeable in early modern English translations of the Bible, but not so much anymore. It's about how English has changed, how the Biblical languages changed over time, and how we've changed since salvation history began. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2024

Nope-ing Out on Humanity

"We're not a good species": that's the rallying cry of Les Knight, founder of the Voluntary Extinction Movement. But the idea that humanity was a mistake didn't just spring out of nowhere. It was built up gradually over centuries, as a side-effect of the scientific revolution. Goethe's Faust is a brilliant attempt to recover and sanctify the role of humanity in creating reality. It is more important now than ever. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com I maked this: "China's Three-Body Problem--and Ours," at Law & Liberty: https://lawliberty.org/chinas-three-body-problem-and-ours/

Transcribed - Published: 23 April 2024

Interview: Jeremy Carl, [Insert Youtube Warning Label Here]

Is it OK to be white? Claremont Institute Senior Fellow is out with a provocative new book about anti-white discrimination in America, and what's to be done about it. We got into a really interesting discussion about race, culture, and politics--including questions like whether Western culture is "white" and what racial harmony in 21st-century America can and should look like. Take a listen, and then check out Jeremy's book: The Unprotected Class: How Anti-White Racism is Tearing America Apart: https://www.amazon.com/Unprotected-Class-Anti-White-Destroying-America/dp/1684514584 Find Jeremy on Substack: https://jeremycarl.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com I maked this: "Civil LARP," a review of Alex Garland's Civil War: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/beltway-confidential/2963967/civil-larp-the-journalists-are-at-it-again/

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2024

Say Yes to the Dress: Goethe, Newton, and the Internet's Biggest Fight Ever

Blue and black? Or yellow and white? For eons, mankind has grappled with this essential question. Wars have been fought. Families have been torn asunder. Brother has turned against brother and father against son. But now, at last, we can resolve this most important of debates with help from none other than--Ludwig Goethe? Turns out the whole affair brings up all the important issues we need to start moving from Marlowe's Faust to Goethe's, and on the way to pick up a whole new vision for the future of science. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com I maked this: "Civil LARP," a review of Alex Garland's Civil War: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/beltway-confidential/2963967/civil-larp-the-journalists-are-at-it-again/

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

Words, Words, Words 9: Mary Mary, Quite Contrary

It's not every podcast that comes with a disclaimer, but this one is just spicy enough that it needs a warning on the label. I got a great and fascinating question about how to translate a passage from John's Gospel...and the answer will take me into Mary's status in the church, the meaning of the word "the," and the cosmic significance of each of our lives. How's that for a Friday afternoon?* Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com *Words words words is a subsidiary of Young Heretics hosted by Spencer Klavan and represents exclusively the views of one dudebro books podcaster on exclusively those lexical matters he chooses to address. It has not been approved by the USCCB and is not intended to throw shade on or resolve disputes among Christians including but not limited to Catholics, Anglicans, evangelicals, baptists, anabaptists, katabaptists, parabaptists, pseudobaptists, and baptists with funny hats, regarding issues pertaining but not limited to the perpetual virginity of Mary, her immaculate conception, her experience of labor, her preference for the Browns over the Packers, or her views on the seasoning of fish. Side effects may include morphological fixation and fine grained knowledge of Biblical Greek; if either of these persist longer than a languid afternoon spent leafing through dictionaries and sighing like a character in a Victorian novel, consult your pastor.

Transcribed - Published: 12 April 2024

Demons In My View: AI, Free Will, and the Quantum Revolution

Gather round, me hearties, and attend the tale of Pierre-Simon Laplace--a demon-haunted man. This is a story I've been itching to tell for a while, about the birth of quantum physics and the revenge of the Atomic Swerve. It stretches all the way back to Marcus Aurelius and all the way forward to the AI revolution, with some incredible tea to spill along the way (including a cameo from Napoleon). Buckle up, kids: this is a fun one. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com I maked this: Gateway to the Stoics and Gateway to the Epicureans: https://a.co/d/cS72QtB https://a.co/d/2Kwu4Yu

Transcribed - Published: 9 April 2024

Interview with John Daniel Davidson: Silence, Pagan!

In his new book, Pagan America, Federalist Senior Editor John Daniel Davidson argues that America is not only becoming, but functionally already is, a pagan society. We talk about what that means, why it's happened, and what can be done about it. It's a fascinating discussion touching on a lot of themes that have really been mainstays of the show this year. Also take a listen to my introduction for a wild tesetimonial to liturgical providence (and to find out what happened with my car). Read John's Book, Pagan America: The Decline of Christianity and the Dark Age to Come: https://a.co/d/3UXz7VS Follow John on Twitter: Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com I Maked This: "After Chivalry" at Fairer Disputations: https://fairerdisputations.org/after-chivalry/

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2024

Yuval Harari's Faustian Bargain

You've probably seen that meme of the IQ bell curve, where the guy with the lowest IQ and the guy with the highest IQ both agree, while the guy in the middle copes and seethes. Well, this week I am here to tell you that it really do be like that. Chris Marlowe and my Uber driver are in agreement that the soul is real, while Dr. Faustus and professional midwit Yuval Harari want to tell you humans can be hacked. The choice is yours! Literally. Stay tuned until the end for a new weekly segment, "I Maked This." Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com I Maked This: "After Chivalry" at Fairer Disputations: https://fairerdisputations.org/after-chivalry/

Transcribed - Published: 2 April 2024

Words, Words, Words 8: It's Not Bird

On this Good Friday, we're doin' it live: translating Aquinas, that is. I talk through some extremely sticky medieval philosophy of language, but it's all worth it because at the end it turns out that existence is bananas and humanity really is made in God's image, which, come on, is good payoff for 30 minutes. A blessed Easter weekend to you; hope you spend it doing and thinking about the stuff that well and truly matters. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 29 March 2024

I Ain't Got No Crystal Ball

The universe just keeps getting weirder and weirder, man. New data from the James Webb Space Telescope might actually be the most important news story that no one's talking about. It invites us to consider whether we're going to freak out, like the Commies, or rejoice in the glory of God, like civilized people. It's possible Christopher Marlowe can help us tell the difference. But probably we'll just keep yelling at each other online! Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Read the latest about James Webb: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1037233 https://www.astronomy.com/science/we-just-discovered-the-impossible-giant-young-galaxies-shake-up-our-understanding-of-the-early-universe/

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2024

Words, Words, Words 7: By Any Other Name

Lying awake one night, I pulled out my Japanese grammar dictionary, as you do. And I suddenly realized some of the stuff in there--i.e., in Japanese, a language the Ancient Greeks had never heard of--could have been taken right out of Plato's Cratylus. What the heck is that about? And what does it have to do with the name of God? Answers to these and other questions, taken straight from my groggy 2am brain, on today's installment of Words, Words, Words. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com

Transcribed - Published: 22 March 2024

Kate Merlinton, Princess of Wales

Will the real Merlin please stand up? Every major new development in scientific knowledge comes with a period of upheaval in what it means to do magic--or in what counts as magic, and what counts as science. This week, in providential synchronicity with a listener question, I wanted to talk about two twentieth-century depictions of Merlin in the age of industrial technology. Was he friend, foe, or fraud? Mark Twain and C.S. Lewis will help us decide. Also somebody, please, tell me what I'm supposed to think about the latest royal scandal. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Read Sabine Hossenfelder on Oppenheim's new theory of "post-quantum" gravity: https://nautil.us/the-end-of-the-dark-universe-531983/ https://nautil.us/what-physicists-have-been-missing-506607/?_sp=9994ab18-0835-44f3-9a87-f15989a55825.1710844533125

Transcribed - Published: 19 March 2024

Interview: Isabel Brown, Gen Z Champion

Are the kids alright? Before you leap to respond "absolutely not," listen to content creator Isabel Brown argue that in fact there really is honest-to-goodness hope among members of--wait for it--Gen Z. As an ancient Millennial myself, I think this is great news. Isabel lays out the case for why Gen Z might actually be trending conservative culturally in her new book, The End of the Alphabet. Bored with the wokescolds and searching for meaning, the newest generation to come of age may have more going for it than its skeptics claim. Check out Isabel's Book, The End of the Alphabet: https://a.co/d/fO4QMWN Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2024

That Magician Ain't Real!

These days we tell a tidy little story: once there was magic, now there's reason. But there's another, older story that might be closer to the truth: once there was fake magic, now there's real magic. In fact, not only is that the story that many luminaries of the scientific revolution told--it's also a story that extends back before the scientific revolution, to the days of Merlin and King Arthur in the Medieval chronicles of English history. Scientists, meet Merlin: you guys have a lot in common. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Read Scott Yenor's essay on the women of country music: https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/the-first-ladies-of-country-music/

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2024

Words, Words, Words 6: What's in a Name?

Oh, we're really in it now. On today's translation segment, I take a question that will lead us into the heart of magic, language, and human nature: what's in a name? Specifically, what's in God's name? Throughout the Bible, not just God but God's name is invoked as a stand-in for God himself. Figuring out why will take us through Greek philosophy, Medieval theology, Jewish wisdom literature, and magical thinking of the most intense kind. Let's dive in. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Take a look at Ralston College's MA in the Humanities: https://www.ralston.ac/humanities-ma Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 8 March 2024

The Ursula-Jafar Theory of Bad Magic

Are you a good magician, or a bad magician? This week, I start diving into the weird and complicated world of magic, from Disney to the Book of Acts. There's lots to say here, but let's start with what we want to avoid, namely: stealing people's voices and usurping the throne. In a deep cut from back when Disney wasn't awful, I hereby present: the Ursula-Jafar Theory of Bad Magic. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 5 March 2024

Words, Words, Words 5: She Thinks I'm a Steed!

YOU ARE ENTIRELY A STAR CHILD! Maybe you've seen the internet meme where someone--or perhaps some program--translates the lyrics of Smash Mouth's "All Star" into Aramaic and then back into ornate, florid English. For '90s kids who grew up screaming those lyrics, this is hilarious. But it's also kind of revealing about our assumptions when it comes to register in translation. Why does the process of going into Aramaic, then back into English, end you up in a higher register than the original? Answers to these and other questions on a new installment of Words, Words, Words. Plus, here's a new essay on translation by yours truly in the Claremont Review of Books: https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/homer-without-heroes/ Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

Neuralink is Magic (And that Might Not be a Good Thing)

They’re putting chips! In people’s brains! We have to talk about it. But this is Young Heretics—so let’s not talk about it from a panicked, world-is-ending catastrophe mindset, or from a naïve, tech-will-save us progressive mindset. With one eye on tradition and one eye on the future, I want to embark this week on an attempt to seriously argue that what we’re doing with tech is, and always has been, actual magic—with all the enticements and dangers that come along with that. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Take a look at Ralston College's MA in the Humanities: https://www.ralston.ac/humanities-ma Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2024

Interview: John A. Burtka on the Art of the Possible

I'm joined today by Johnny Burtka, whose new Gateway to Statesmanship is a collection of writings on one of our most neglected virtues. Statesmanship is the art of leading in complex and difficult times, especially when all of the options on the table involve painful trade-offs (sound familiar?). Johnny and I discuss the changing conditions of history, the fight over "Christian nationalism," and what it would mean for a modern politician to recover the ancient virtue of prudence. Pick up Johnny's book, Gateway to Statesmanship: https://a.co/d/5XJ3C0j Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 23 February 2024

Eye Has Not Seen

Since last we spoke, I have literally traveled around the world--and I can say with certainty there's nowhere I'd rather be than here. This week, a few reflections from my trip to Cambodia about what every culture has to grapple with when it comes to depicting God--and what's unique to the Bible. No one has ever seen God. So how can anyone know him? It's a question fundamental to both art and science, and absolutely everyone everywhere has to face it. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 20 February 2024

Words, Words, Words 4: The Holy Spirit Will Live Rent-Free in You

Why is the Gen Z Bible a joke and not a translation? In this installment of our series on register, I'm doing a close reading (yes, actually) of a passage from the Gen Z Bible. Bear with me, because there's actually a method to my madness, and it speaks to the strengths and weaknesses of another, much more widely used version of the bible--the Message. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2024

Yes and No

Is it spirit or flesh? Matter or form? Symbol or symbolized? On this episode I want to argue that these questions aren't only religious questions--or rather, they're religious questions that cut right to the heart of reality. They've become newly important as anti-humanists propose to leave our embodied life as human beings behind. Discard the spirit and you get senseless matter; discard the matter and you get heartless calculation. Only with the two combined can we be fully human. Pre-order my new book, Light of the Mind, Light of the World: https://a.co/d/2QccOfM Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/

Transcribed - Published: 13 February 2024

[SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT]: Light of the Mind, Light of the World

I've got a new book coming out! Light of the Mind, Light of the World: How New Science is Illuminating Ancient Truths about God will come out on August 13, and it's available now for pre-order. We are confronted today by a dark philosophy that views the world as a machine and humanity as a mistake. But as listeners of Young Heretics know, this philosophy is not only evil: it's also hopelessly out of date. Light of the Mind, Light of the World is a story of how God reveals himself through science and scripture alike. It's an ancient message, and an urgent one for our times. Pre-order now and be one of the first to get your copy! https://a.co/d/2QccOfM https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Light-of-the-Mind-Light-of-the-World/Spencer-Klavan/9781684515332

Transcribed - Published: 9 February 2024

She's an Icon

The veneration of icons is one of the longest-lasting and most intense controversies in the history of the church. But it's not just a matter of religious practice: it also happens to touch on even more ancient and profound issues in the nature of perception and reality. So, just exactly what Young Heretics has been all about this year! Thanks to encouragement from you guys, I'm going deeper on the subject of icons, art, and reality (though not much deeper on the whole Travis Kelce/Taylor Swift situation--but Tay does feature.) Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 6 February 2024

Words, Words, Words 3: Puppers, Hell-Hounds, and the Dogs of War

Is the Message a good translation of the Bible? Is it even a translation? This is one of the questions I get asked all the time, and with good reason: people like the vividness of a more plainspoken translation, but they worry about the accuracy of bringing the Bible so far down to earth. How can we tell the difference between a faithful but idiomatic translation, and one that goes off the reservation? How do translators think about these things, and how should we? It's such a profound issue that I'm going to do a few episodes about it, dipping into ancient Greek literary criticism, cockney slang, and the French translation of Harry Potter to explain how we ought to think about tone and register. Someone oughta stop me: I am having way too much fun. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh Check out the Guardian's guide to Cockney slang: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/09/guide-to-cockney-rhyming-slang

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2024

Taylor Swift and Ben Shapiro in Thessalonike

Today I'm tackling (no pun intended) a very important philosophical question of our age: why does anyone care what Taylor Swift thinks? No, seriously--that's a real question. It's basically the one that Plato deals with in his Ion. Trying to answer it can lead us to some pretty fascinating insights about the nature of celebrity and even reality itself. Who would have thought the Biden Administration's efforts at courting celebrity would take us into 9th-century Thessalonikē and the Eastern Church's battle over icons? But here we are. Only on Young Heretics, folks. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 30 January 2024

Words, Words, Words 2: John 11:4

"This sickness is not unto death, but..." what? On this episode of Words, Words, Words, I answer a listener question about how to understand what Jesus says about Lazarus' illness shortly before healing him. It's a juicy question that leads into all sorts of issues about ambiguity (good and bad) and how to understand the Bible. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 26 January 2024

What's Therapy Good For?

People are fighting online (shocking, I know) about whether therapy is a godsend, a scam, or something in between. Without delving too deep into the Twitter weeds, we can actually extract a pretty important insight from this debate: whatever the merits or drawback of any particular therapeutic practice, our understanding of spiritual matters--our actual psychology or "study of the soul"--is badly in need of a reboot. As part of my ongoing investigation into the relationship between the inner and outer life, I take a look at what T.S. Eliot and Freud have to say about the nature of spiritual life. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh More on the "chemical theory" of depression: https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/articles/a-popular-theory-of-depression-wasnt-debunked-by-a-new-review-it-got-debunked-years-ago-363986

Transcribed - Published: 23 January 2024

Words, Words, Words, Part 1: Homer's Iliad I.1

In this new occasional series, I want to try and help you guys answer some of the questions you often ask about translation--how it works, what challenges it presents, and how to pick a good edition of a work originally written in a foreign language you don't speak. Each time I'll pick a small sentence from a famous work--this time it's the first line of Homer's Iliad--and talk through some of the questions that it raises. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 19 January 2024

The Stuff that (Actually) Matters

Election 2024 is in motion, and no question it's an important one--but will it be the decisive cataclysm that everyone will surely make it out to be? Somehow it almost feels as if we hope it will: as if we're longing for some definitive event to deliver a verdict on where all this turbulence is headed. But deeper currents are moving beneath far beneath the surface of politics, and there is, if you can believe it, something more real than the presidential race. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 16 January 2024

Interview: Alex Petkas, Ancient Life Coach

When did we stop looking to great men gone by as role models? My guest today, Alex Petkas, is a recovering academic who founded the Ancient Life Coach podcast in order to make a more immediate connection between past and present. He's recovering Plutarch--once antiquity's most cherished moralist--as a guide for today. We discuss the transformation of scholarship from instruction to dissection, and how ancient pagans can help modern seekers get a hold of themselves. Listen to Alex’s Podcast, Ancient Life Coach: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cost-of-glory/id1580153815 Read him on Substack: https://substack.com/@costofglory Check out his website: https://ancientlifecoach.com Meet our sponsors, the Ancient Language Institute: ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics

Transcribed - Published: 12 January 2024

Men Should Be What they Seem

Claudine “Fake and” Gay is out at Harvard, and there’s something about this scandal that reveals what makes academic corruption so painful and infuriating: it’s the humiliation of having to believe a lie. As it happens, this is a news story that can illustrate—with a little help from William Shakespeare—the core issue in matters of sin, art, and our present national dysfunction. Subscribe to my new joint Substack with Andrew Klavan (no relation): https://thenewjerusalem.substack.com Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 9 January 2024

Satan at the Center of the Sun (Special Episode)

Over on Substack, I’ve been gradually creating an audiobook reading of Milton’s epic poem of mankind’s fall, Paradise Lost. It’s one of the greatest works of English literature, well…ever. So this Friday, I thought I’d do something a little different: this is a free sample of the audiobook so you can get a feel for the poem and see whether you’d like to sign up to hear the rest. So here’s Paradise Lost Book 3, read aloud by yours truly. Sign up to hear the rest: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/p/paradise-lost Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh Subscribe to Story Time for Grownups with Faith Moore: https://t.co/Qfg3guKS7F

Transcribed - Published: 5 January 2024

Leap Year Vibes

Everything is completely insane, so, in other words, it’s business as usual. Everyone seems to feel certain that we’re in for a year of madness, and it’s hard to disagree. But it’s also hard to remember that human life is always madness, playing out against the backdrop of the stars. That’s what the calendar itself represents. So on this first episode of the year, I’ll talk a bit about the history of leap years and the wisdom I want to seek with you in 2024. Check out our sponsor, the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/ Sign up to be in the mailbag: https://rejoiceevermore.substack.com/ Pick up my book, How to Save the West: https://a.co/d/9S57cfh

Transcribed - Published: 2 January 2024

Interview: Louise M. Perry, "Ludicrous Crackpot"

What is a TERF? I’m joined for this week’s interview by Louise M. Perry, one of the most insightful and thoughtful observers of the wreckage left behind by the sexual revolution. We discuss the “radical” part of being a “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist,” whether social norms can leave space for abnormality, and the limits of “cultural Christianity” as a sustaining civilizational force. Read Louise’s book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: https://a.co/d/0nVZ3nD Listen to Louise’s podcast, Maiden, Mother, Matriarch: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/maiden-mother-matriarch-with-louise-perry/id1671451793 Check out Louise’s website: https://www.louisemperry.co.uk Learn Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Old English from our friends at the Ancient Language Institute: https://ancientlanguage.com/youngheretics/

Published: 29 December 2023

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