Rebuilding civilization will be a project soon halted without literature, academics, and history. As Augustine understood, a city is a community of people united by a shared love. Taking Augustine’s point more loosely, a shared love of ideas, ideals, stories and histories are necessary to build again. Therefore, literature and history are necessary points of departure as we move forward in a crumbling civilization.
Yet, any concerned soul who would see civilization rebuilt will understand the prudence of drawing on both the past and the present. This yearly list will provide works both ancient and new. It is a list designed to inspire and critique, to sharpen and to encourage.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet- Considered by many to be the Bard’s masterpiece, Hamlet is a tragedy brimming with insight into human nature. In fact, Hamlet was Abraham Kuyper’s favorite work, with more allusions and references to this great work than any other. This is not terribly surprising for Hamlet is remarkably quotable.
Hamlet has much to teach regarding politics and family, both topics in need of sustained deliberation and dialogue. And with over 1300 references, quotes, or allusions to Scripture in the body of Shakespearean literature, his magnum opus is a must-read for any Reformed Conservative.