Glenn Arbery

About Glenn Arbery

Dr. Glenn C. Arbery is President of Wyoming Catholic College, where he previously served as Dean and Associate Professor of Humanities. He has taught at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, the University of Dallas, and at Assumption College where he was d’Alzon Professor of Liberal Arts. He is the author of Why Literature Matters (2001) and the editor of two volumes, The Tragic Abyss (2004), and The Southern Critics: An Anthology (2010).

Civility and Noblesse Oblige

By |2018-11-13T14:08:15-05:00November 12th, 2018|Categories: Character, Charity, Christian Living, Glenn Arbery, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Noblesse oblige is more than merely being civil. In a Christian context, it treats those less talented or less fortunate without a show of superiority because it recognizes that they, too, are made in the image and likeness of God… What it means to be “civil” has undergone severe scrutiny lately. Hillary Clinton, for [...]

Reason and Its Usurpers

By |2018-10-13T01:14:45-05:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Glenn Arbery, Supreme Court, Wyoming Catholic College|

The clashes of contemporary political life can alienate anyone, but this is not the time to withdraw from the fight. As recent events clearly show, the most hopeful signs sometimes come from the places we least expect.  This past week has been a watershed in American political life—or so we are told. After the confirmation [...]

The Cave and the Consumer

By |2019-05-21T14:39:05-05:00October 6th, 2018|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Whether the wisest should rule has always been a vexed question, largely because the wisest are least likely to seek (or be granted) the power and prominence that accompany the highest position. But even being educated—simply knowing more or seeing with greater depth—can lead to friction in a democratic society. The great 19th-century convert, Orestes [...]

The Last Infinity

By |2019-06-24T16:36:30-05:00September 25th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Glenn Arbery, Gospel Reflection, Great Books, Virtue, Wyoming Catholic College|

Is it worth it to try to do great things in business or politics or art or education—or even the Church? Recently, when I was reflecting on honor and fame as praiseworthy ambitions for our students, I ended with a famous quotation from Milton’s “Lycidas,” where Milton speaks of fame as the “spur” of the [...]

Honor and Fame

By |2018-09-17T21:57:03-05:00September 17th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Conservatism, Culture, Glenn Arbery, Homer, Plato, William Shakespeare, Wyoming Catholic College|

Should honor and fame no longer be ends of ambition in such a world? The ancient philosophers doubted the ultimate merit of fame, but they also looked for the most spirited students, those most inclined to “undertake extensive and arduous enterprises"... In response to my essay about baptizing ambition, a friend from Boston College recommended [...]

Baptizing Ambition

By |2019-05-09T12:01:42-05:00September 3rd, 2018|Categories: Culture, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Virtue, Wyoming Catholic College|

Those who truly seek to bring about the good also have to be ambitious for power, just not for their personal satisfaction, but for the greater good; they need to “baptize” their strong personal drive and accept power when it comes so that they can root out mediocrity and accomplish what actually needs doing... On [...]

Walking Into Wisdom

By |2019-05-07T14:40:45-05:00August 27th, 2018|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Nature, Wyoming Catholic College|

There's a pace to reading that corresponds to walking, and probably to thought itself; the followers of Aristotle are called the “peripatetics,” a word that means “those who walk to and fro”... At the end of this week, the fifty-two new freshmen at Wyoming Catholic College descend from the mountains where they have spent the [...]

A Double Challenge for the Church

By |2018-08-25T00:14:40-05:00August 25th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Education, Glenn Arbery, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Wyoming Catholic College|

Traditional Catholic liberal arts education faces two major challenges right now: 1) the massive redirection of higher education per se away from any serious consideration of God; and 2) the corruption in the Church. The former challenge has been with us for a long time, with some recent twists, and so has the latter—but it’s [...]

Why Reality Ought to Shape Language

By |2018-07-07T00:59:17-05:00June 30th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Flannery O'Connor, Glenn Arbery, Language, Literature, Wyoming Catholic College|

Let reality shape language. Reality in this sense means what is actually the case, which includes what people actually think, not what they are supposed to think. It means an order in which God provides the very grounding of the real… On Sunday afternoon, 34 high school students arrived at Wyoming Catholic College for [...]

The Paradox of Courage

By |2019-04-30T15:06:31-05:00June 23rd, 2018|Categories: Character, Christianity, Education, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Up in the heights of the tradition, protected in grandeur and difficulty, are life-giving waters that descend with surprising force into a world thirsty for courage… Yesterday morning, after reading Murder in the Cathedral in preparation for the last sessions at this year’s Wyoming School of Catholic Thought, I took a long walk up Squaw Creek [...]

How “Humanae Vitae” Continues to Challenge the Modern World

By |2018-06-16T22:30:17-05:00June 16th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Faith, Family, Glenn Arbery, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae cuts across modernity’s default epicurean position by insisting that sexuality is a profound participation in hope, an affirmation that every God-given human life has inestimable worth, not a negotiable value… This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae. Like most of [...]

Ideology and the Humanities

By |2019-04-07T17:25:49-05:00June 8th, 2018|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Featured, Glenn Arbery, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Wyoming Catholic College|

Ideologies are mind-traps: They are constructed in such a way that they prejudge the motive of opposition to their systems. The great aim of liberal education is to liberate students from mere unexamined opinion into genuine thought… Some people use the word “ideology” neutrally, as though it meant any fairly comprehensive set of ideas. [...]

Ordinary Time: The Extraordinary Moment?

By |2018-06-08T11:21:24-05:00June 1st, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Education, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, Time, Wyoming Catholic College|

Time will never be truly ordinary, and everydayness will never dominate as long as we have recourse to silence and prayer… There is a kind of harmony between the aftermath of Pentecost and the weeks after graduation. The great feasts are over, and the intensity of activity has abated. The world enters what the [...]