About a month ago (is that how long it’s been?), Bruce Charlton realized that his circle of reactionary Christian blogs had become sufficiently close to warrant recognition as a distinct group. To borrow a distinction from my last post, I mean a “group” in both senses of the word–a distinct category, and an interconnected community. That we form an online community (if you’ll forgive my juxtaposing those two incompatible words) is obvious enough: we comment on each other’s blogs all the time; we share many of the same readers; conversations that begin on one blog are often picked up and continued on the others. That there is a distinct category that includes, say, Bruce and I, but that doesn’t include all religious conservatives (e.g. Robert George, Richard John Neuhaus) is less obvious, but still I think true. The blogs in question all combine belief not only in natural law and God’s sovereignty over individual souls but also a concern with what Roger Scruton called the “surface” of social life and a conviction that communities themselves should be oriented to God through authority, custom, and ritual. Hence “the Orthosphere” became conscious of itself.
Svein Sellanraa and Proph have put together a joint blog for the Orthosphere: you can see it here. I’m going to be joining this effort as one of the authors. I of course have no time to produce more material than I already do, so for the next month or so, I plan to cross-post all of my writings at both blogs. Assuming the new blog takes off (as in, starts getting more hits per day than this one), I hope to transition to making it my primary blog. I’ve said before that I have been hoping for such a development (hoping, but not getting around to taking any steps towards it; for the actual deed, I must thank my more enterprising colleagues). I just don’t have as much time now as I did two years ago when I was a childless postdoc. The irony is that I have a much larger audience now than I ever did then, when I would spend hours on the weekend thinking through my major essays. I’ll never be able to maintain the rate of high (for me)-quality posts as I did then, and when I’m doing something optional, I want to do my best or not do it at all. Quick and half-assed jobs are for the serious, required work of life. If I can’t perfect my lecture, I just have to give my students whatever it is I’ve got. If I can’t perfect a blog post, I can always discard it. I’ve been needing a collaborative project, where we can keep a blog more active and visible with less work per author. Let’s hope this works.
Even if it does, I plan to keep Throne and Altar going (just without new material exclusively for this site). There’s a lot of material stored here that I would like people to see. Even if I thought someone was on to my identity, I don’t think I’d delete it, because you really can’t delete things on the internet, and if I were exposed, I would rather be judged by my whole corpus than whatever snippet my accuser stores and presents.
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