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Great Books

1 1914

For the ancient myth-maker, there is something at the heart of all of human events that is worth preserving, something marvelous and worthy of renown, even if the account is not entirely true to life... The second-century satirist, Lucian...
0 1700

I imagine that on Parents’ Weekend there might be some parents attending this once weekly occasion when the college assembles to hear a lecture. By its very name, a lecture is read—but read out loud, delivered in the writer’s voice. Thus, the...
0 2079

“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.” The opening words to Homer’s Odyssey are among the most...

Pick up a Jane Austen novel, and you will discover that behind the long gowns and country dances, people in her era struggled with the same weaknesses we struggle with today. Well-written stories like Austen's bring to life the human drama that is played out in every...
1 3241

In America today, we are living in a toxic political climate that is the product of a very dangerous combination: Our rulers lack the learning necessary to ask the kinds of deep and fundamental questions that leaders and lawgivers ought to make a habit of pondering, while our people...
0 3014

If people and dogs have common ground of a higher order than animal needs, it must be in the territory of the spirit. Spirit is, just as Aristotle says, where friendship is at home. Now among us humans, this capability of the spirit is both an accomplishment and a...
3 2662

A culture that fails to represent, or that misrepresents its wars in all their glory, gravity, and tragedy, is a weaker polity. Epic poetry, with its stark recording of the facts and feelings of war, can give cultures and communities access to the reality of warfare and...
2 5656

We live in a pathetically dumbed-down culture. Levels of literacy and numeracy plummet and levels of ignorance rise. Knowledge of the past disappears, its lessons unlearned, as the present shows its contempt for the wisdom of the...
3 3237

The Godfather is the Augustinian film par excellence–though it does not conclude where Augustine's vision ends... The Godfather, by Mario Puzo, was the best-selling book when it was first published and the film adaptation...
4 2889

Is acceptance of the death penalty contrary to the modern understanding of the dignity of the human person? The anthropology of René Girard allows for a rereading of Thomas Aquinas’ defense of capital punishment... The Catholic Church’s recent definitive...
1 2370

Virtue is what the good city aims to achieve as part of the common good. Since humans are social animals and creatures of actions, the call to cultivate virtue within civil society is a fundamental aspect of the good society and the good regime...
1 1797

The transcendent ‘overcoming’ or reconciliation of the Fall of Man—that symbol of the cause of the disorder that we would wish re-ordered, of the return to the garden—is what great poetry graciously asks of us... “An intermediate...
1 1224

In Othello, William Shakespeare, the philosopher of everyday life, holds up a mirror to us and shows us what human beings are capable of. Beneath our most pleasantly cultivated exterior, there often lurks a serpent... William Hazlitt is widely...
1 1832

The ends of higher education are the acquisition of wisdom and virtue and the serious pursuit of knowledge and truth. Reading the Great Books helps us to get to these ends. Informed by the wisdom, the beauty, the goodness, and the truth we encounter in Great Books, we can...