TFAS Fellows Seek Sources of Conservative Renewal

On October 20-23, the Russell Kirk Center welcomed participants from The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) to its first program held at the Kirk Center in Mecosta. An impressive class of their Public Policy Fellows, most of whom are early career professionals working in Washington, D.C., gathered for an educational retreat focused on Russell Kirk’s classic work The Roots of American Order. The TFAS seminar mandate was to read that book and related essays by a select group of other conservative authors to consider what ideas or institutional supports, if any, might secure the foundations of a new fusionism–synthesizing the claims of freedom and tradition. The discussions were thoughtful and lively, and the spirit was generous. This outstanding group proved hope for a better conservatism is not unwarranted.

[Russell Kirk’s] thought is a good guide to our own intellectual life, but even more than that I think Kirk’s example matters as a model for how we can live integrated lives in pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Going to Mecosta, seeing the places where he lived and worked, makes me feel like living a life like he lived is eminently possible. It is the Last Homely House, a place of refreshment and tranquility. Just being in Mecosta is incredible. It feels amazing being in a real place cultivated by good people where we can talk openly about big ideas and great books. – TFAS Public Policy Fellow ’22

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