Brief Mentions

Romano Guardini (1885-1968), a Roman Catholic priest and professor of Christian philosophy at the universities of Breslau, Berlin, Tubingen, and Munich, was a year old when he emigrated with his parents to Germany from his native Italy. Returning to his homeland after many years, Guardini found himself confronting the physical reality that he had both predicted and described in his theoretical speculation. As Louis Dupre says in an introduction, "If Guardini's theoretical works contain the justification, the Letters present the vision." "Inexpressible beauty is here," Guardini wrote of the valleys of Brianza, "but it gives me no joy. I do not see how any understanding person could find joy in it." What he understood was that the poignant beauty he saw everywhere around him was doomed, as immemorial human culture, which he defined as the living relationship between human beings and nature, succumbed to the onslaught of a barbarous technology presenting an artificial alternative to nature, and creating basic forms of human existence filled with something other than their own contents: something abstract, not living. Christian optimism and philosophical good taste restrained Guardini from sentimental pessimism, and even permitted him to discern in the coming novus ordo seclorum a new civilization in some wavs equal and perhaps superior to the one which came before. While those born under the old...

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