The Importance of Learning to Argue: From Ancient Greece Through the Present

By |2019-06-26T22:48:36-05:00June 26th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Education, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Socrates, St. John's College|

Perhaps more than ever, we have a need for education of a particular kind: an education that trains one in the habits of exchanging ideas. Not a forum for the debate of settled opinions, where victory is the end, but an education that is the forge and working house of thought itself. In order [...]

Cicero: No Slave of Plato

By |2019-06-07T09:36:17-05:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Of all the writers who came at the end of the Roman Republic and at the beginning of the Empire, most make note of the loss of traditional morality. It was Cicero who advocated an adherence to nature and order by recognizing the proper meaning of a thing within and around the very existence [...]

Child-Rearing: Notes from a Comparative Cultures Tutorial

By |2019-07-10T23:20:38-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Community, Education, George Stanciu, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

Unprecedented in history is the development of the adolescent—a period of life in which one is isolated from childhood and maturity. Child-rearing practices vary from culture to culture, and many Americans are shocked to discover that the most turbulent period of their lives was a cultural phenomenon. The confusion, rebellion, and search for identity [...]

True Law is Right Reason in Agreement With Nature

By |2019-06-06T10:13:21-05:00June 2nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Cicero’s “On the Republic” has influenced the West for centuries, calling to harmony the various aspects of government. In his call to harmony, Cicero portrays a republic in which a proper action demands the balance of the three faculties of man, as well as one in which true law is understood as coming not [...]

The Natural and the Foreign: Republics from Rome to America

By |2019-06-06T10:11:25-05:00May 31st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

According to Cicero, the Republic follows the paths of nature and god in all its activities. As such, the true statesman—like the gardener—knows when to plant, when to fertilize, when to water, when to weed, when to prune, and when to harvest. Yet there is still, to be certain, a season for everything. And, [...]

Cicero’s Republic: Implanted in the Nature of Man

By |2019-06-06T10:09:59-05:00May 17th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

The best society, Cicero argues, cultivates us as free individuals for the benefit of the community. Virtue exists in every being, but few realize it or cultivate it. Yet, it is what makes men, men, and allows them to be free. Usually remembered for his political triumphs and defeats as well as for his [...]

Virgil on Tradition

By |2019-05-30T09:51:24-05:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: Aeneas, Civilization, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Tradition, Virgil, Wisdom|

Citizens of the twenty-first century, learn from us to respect and honor your traditions. You seem so fascinated with novel, untried ideas that you often overlook the wisdom of the past. If we forget that legacy, we cease to be who we are. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other [...]

America’s Urban Nightmare: Gotham City

By |2019-05-03T22:57:53-05:00May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Batman Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Culture, Senior Contributors|

Behind all the sin and the struggle for good is the all-important backdrop, Gotham City, perhaps Robert Kane and Bill Finger’s second greatest creation after the Batman himself. If Batman represents the action hero and ultimate humanist, Gotham is the ultimate surrealist, expressionist, nihilistic noir city and stage. Gotham is a nightmare city, once [...]

James Burnham’s & Daniel Bell’s Critiques of Globalization & Liberalism

By |2019-05-02T20:50:26-05:00May 2nd, 2019|Categories: Capitalism, Civilization, Economics, History, Politics|

The rise of a post-industrial, technologically advanced society affected social and economic structures worldwide. James Burnham and Daniel Bell foresaw how drastically society would change over the following decades, as well as the consequences of these tendencies toward globalism and liberalism. We like to say that every idea, every thought, every emotion—no matter how [...]

Love and Light: Reflections on the Meaning of Notre Dame

By |2019-05-02T11:17:53-05:00May 1st, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Western Civilization|

I suppose it’s a bit preposterous for me to feel a deep personal connection with Notre-Dame. I’ve been there maybe a dozen times during brief Paris sojourns over the past decade. Hardly exceptional compared with the experience of the legions of faithful who worshipped there regularly, or of the millions of Parisians and French [...]

The Sri Lanka Church Bombings: The Saudi Pestilence Spreads

By |2019-04-24T23:09:25-05:00April 24th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Joseph Mussomeli, Middle East, Muslim, Politics, Religion, Senior Contributors|

The history of Sri Lanka through the Fifties to the present time is a sobering reminder to those who fail to see that unrestrained democracy can lead to the tyranny of the majority and that robust diversity is as often a cause of friction and strife as it is a strength to be celebrated. [...]

The Imaginary Bubble We Inhabit

By |2019-07-10T23:20:42-05:00March 25th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Community, George Stanciu, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

We Americans are taught to maintain an inviolable spatial envelope, or imaginary bubble, around ourselves. But does our desire for individualism allow us to experience the world in all its concrete fullness? Like all Americans, even those with gypsy blood, my experience of space was determined by individualism. In the third grade, my desk, [...]

Storytelling and How We Learn

By |2019-03-07T00:06:27-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Education|

Stories convey wisdom about ourselves, our culture, and human nature. The existence of Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman is more believable than the existence of a civilized people who have no need of poets or sages. Whatever I teach, I teach storytelling because it is an expression of human creativity that provides perspective. Stories help [...]