About Robert M. Woods

Robert M. Woods is the Headmaster at the Covenant School in Dallas, Texas, and teaches in the graduate program at Faulkner University. His work has been published in several journals and he writes regularly for his website Musings of a Christian Humanist.

Humanities as a Way of Knowing

By |2018-07-24T20:51:48-05:00February 12th, 2018|Categories: Featured, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Mortimer Adler, Timeless Essays|

The philosophical roots of the liberal arts can free students from a life of slavery spent spelunking in the cave of ignorance, trivialities, and the merely menial… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Robert M. Woods as he examines the purpose and benefits of studying the humanities [...]

Books for Christmas: The Headmaster Recommends

By |2015-12-18T23:13:14-06:00December 18th, 2015|Categories: Books, Christmas, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives|

This past year I read or re-read the following that reminded me of the permanent things that inform the good, true, and beautiful: Daniel Taylor's Death Comes for The Deconstructionist: A unique murder mystery that also offers a novel (pun intended) critique of ideologically-driven theories. Josef Pieper's Abuse of Language—Abuse of Power: After national debates or recent [...]

Religion: The Key to Christopher Dawson’s Culture

By |2016-08-03T10:36:28-05:00May 28th, 2015|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Culture, Featured, History, Religion|

He was among the brightest students I have taught. We had just finished talking about how and why Freudian or Marxists interpretations of reality are suffocating in their reductionistic interpretations. The conversation moved to the writings of Christopher Dawson that are happily being reprinted by Catholic University Press of America. As our discussion meandered, he [...]

The Realities of “Nightmare City”

By |2015-05-22T08:54:40-05:00May 21st, 2015|Categories: Books, Fiction, Robert M. Woods, Russell Kirk|

In literary terms, Gothic typically refers to that frame of mind and soul that embraces the strange, the mysterious, and the irrational—specifically, terror. Gothic novels are often set in the dark and in the wild. This is what one encounters in Andrew Klavan’s most recent novel. As I consider this novel written for a popular [...]

Faith, Hope, and Love in a Culture of Death: The Giver

By |2014-10-02T15:57:24-05:00September 3rd, 2014|Categories: Film, Robert M. Woods|

Let’s begin with the film’s single greatest obstacle: the culture Philip Rieff described as “the death culture” is not likely to assemble en masse to pay for viewing a morality tale. A central message in this film is that we have become “shadows.” Indeed, those immersed in our death culture do not likely have ears [...]

If Dostoevsky Had Written Science Fiction

By |2019-02-12T17:58:15-06:00July 28th, 2014|Categories: Books, Dystopia, Robert M. Woods|Tags: |

Sounding like a modern, the Greek writer Callimachus once penned an epigram where he quipped, “a large book is a great misfortune.” Does not the legitimacy of such an assertion depend on the author and the reader? Novelist Michael O’Brien gives all lovers of fine novels another marvelously large book. As one who enjoys good [...]

Resistance is Futile? Battling the Cultural Borg

By |2014-09-22T14:35:52-05:00November 4th, 2013|Categories: Robert M. Woods, Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|

I have never concealed the truth that I am a Trekkie. Additionally, I have never hidden my conviction that I am a traditionalist and a conservative in the way defined by Russell Kirk. While there are thematic and ideological elements worthy of criticism in the Star Trek worldview, there is much that can be redeemed. [...]

Insights on the Government Shutdown from Thucydides

By |2015-05-19T23:18:57-05:00October 16th, 2013|Categories: Books, Classics, Robert M. Woods, Thucydides|Tags: |

And if we should know what government is, we should observe, in Thucydides' laconic account of the revolution at Corcyra, what happens when it fails.– Stringfellow Barr Most keen observers would say that our government has been in failure mode for a number of decades, and this is not easily refuted on empirical grounds. Readers of [...]

Thinking Christianly About the Liberal Arts

By |2019-06-13T12:38:59-05:00September 18th, 2013|Categories: Christianity, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Robert M. Woods|

The incarnation calls us to the things of this world. So when we consider the following quotes about the liberal arts we must begin and end there: What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?– Tertullian “What has Ingeld to do with Christ”?– Alcuin (when catching some monks reading Beowulf) What has Horace to do with the Psalter? [...]

Wrecked Upon The Reef of Justice: The Most Relevant Oresteia by Aeschylus

By |2020-09-09T17:48:49-05:00September 11th, 2013|Categories: Christian Humanism, Christianity, Great Books, Literature, Robert M. Woods|

I was talking with a friend a few days ago, and he asked me what I thought about a particular news story. He was surprised when I responded that I knew a good bit less than he did about this story, and he seemed even more surprised as I was describing it with what he [...]

A Case for the Quaint: The Great Ideas Program

By |2019-01-24T11:59:48-06:00August 25th, 2013|Categories: Great Books, Liberal Learning, Mortimer Adler, Robert M. Woods|

Robert Hutchins Studying and leading conversations on the Great Books for more than twenty years still produces that sense of awe and wonder, especially when I discover a new tool to aide in the exploration of wisdom.  Unfortunately, this excitement is often curtailed when I engage many of those within the academy. Once, [...]

Wisely Reading the Adages of Erasmus in Foolish Times

By |2020-03-22T11:59:18-05:00July 26th, 2013|Categories: Books, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Great Books, Literature, Robert M. Woods|Tags: |

The adages of Erasmus often provide philosophical and religious insight with social and political commentary. It is stunning how relevant many of the adages are to our own time. The Adages of Erasmus, compiled by William Barker (University of Toronto Press, 2001, 384 pages) Reading wisdom literature in any age is wise. Reading wise sayings [...]

Andrew Klavan’s “If We Survive”….A Political Morality Tale

By |2016-02-12T15:28:23-06:00June 16th, 2013|Categories: Books, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Robert M. Woods|Tags: , |

Andrew Klavan has started writing young adult fiction and for a Christian publishing house. While this may be a bad move for some writers, Klavan has navigated the move very well. In truth, Klavan is a fine popular contemporary novelist. The extra benefit of this enjoyable read is that it may indeed have an additional application in light [...]

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