Virgil on Furor

By |2019-04-23T23:58:11-05:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Aeneas, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Virgil|

Furor is the rage in the blood that turns justice into revenge and war into slaughter. Furor is the all-consuming lust that privileges private obsession over public service. Furor is the unadulterated avarice that shatters oaths and smashes kingdoms. It is the incarnate enemy of civilization; where it reigns, there can only be dissolution. No [...]

The Wonders of the “Odyssey”

By |2019-04-22T13:49:44-05:00April 22nd, 2019|Categories: Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Homer, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Odyssey, St. John's College|

The “Odyssey” is a wondrous poem. Joe Sachs’ Afterword to his translation is a thought-inducing meditation on wonder, on Homer’s imaginatively and artfully conceived wonders and on Homer’s people, who are—above all, Odysseus—open to wondering and to its ensuing wisdom… the Odyssey by Homer, translated by Joe Sachs (Paul Dry Books: Philadelphia 2014) Joe Sachs’ [...]

A Connecticut Yankee and the Failure of Progressivism

By |2019-04-15T23:19:15-05:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, History, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Mark Twain, Modernity, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

No writer so early recognized and so credibly exposed the dangerous inadequacies concealed in the Progressive world view than did Mark Twain in his sardonic novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. I. By 1912, the triumph of Progressivism was complete. Both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt had advertised themselves as Progressive candidates, [...]

“Paradise Lost”: Hidden Meanings?

By |2019-04-15T17:24:41-05:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, John Milton, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

I keep having the sense that something is going on that runs right counter to the overt text of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. There seems to be a separate, opposed meaning. Should it be called a hidden agenda, a subtext? Milton’s Paradise Lost is a poem of such panoramic grandeur and such human acuteness [...]

From Diotima to Christ: Augustine’s Visionary Ascents in the “Confessions”

By |2019-03-15T20:42:53-05:00March 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Truth, Wisdom|

Augustine’s Confessions is the odyssey of the soul. It is the odyssey of the human heart, as Augustine shifts from the emphasis of intellect to the primacy of love. He shows that it is not by having a strong mind that one is capable of ascent and touching; rather, it is by having a strong [...]

Killing Socrates: The Death of a Great Books Program

By |2019-03-09T09:22:14-05:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Culture, Education, Great Books, Humanities, John Senior, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Wyoming Catholic College|

Few people know that in the early 1970s a “great books” program, founded by John Senior and two other professors, flourished at a large state university in the midwest. Even fewer know of its slow demise. Editor’s Note: Robert Carlson was a student and friend of John Senior, one of three founders of the [...]

Socrates & the Un-Willed Life

By |2019-03-05T12:07:03-05:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College, Wisdom|

For Socrates choices are of a life-pattern. Decisions, which are the deliberated choices that a particular occasion calls for, are not his mode, even at a crucial moment. Such choice, decision occasioned by the moment, will become the pivot of action. It is notoriously difficult to prove a negative, to catch, as it were, non-being [...]

The Beauty Contest

By |2019-02-25T09:23:38-05:00February 22nd, 2019|Categories: Beauty, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Socrates, St. John's College, Virtue, Wisdom|

The beauty contest illustrates the difficulty with the term for and maybe the very idea of gentlemanliness—are good and beautiful two criteria or one? If they are two, how are they related? Could the beautiful be whatever compellingly attracts? Furthermore, what is truly and justly compelling? Editor’s Note: This essay is part of a series dedicated [...]

Homer on Hospitality

By |2019-02-21T11:23:27-05:00February 19th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Homer, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series|

Author's Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given the gift, not only to peer into the twenty-first century, but to correspond with we who live in that most confusing and rudderless of centuries. Had it been in their power [...]

Why “The Great Music” Is as Important as “The Great Books”

By |2019-02-11T08:53:32-05:00February 10th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classical Education, Culture, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Music|

Ignorance of the great works of music is as bad, for someone who seeks to be educated in Western culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, and Plato and Aristotle in philosophy... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Peter Kwasniewski, as he considers the importance [...]

Why America Needs Thomas Aquinas Now

By |2019-02-09T21:12:05-05:00February 9th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Catholicism, Christianity, St. Thomas Aquinas, Theology|

Who can save us amid our current intellectual messiness? I would offer Aquinas. His philosophy doesn’t get as much attention as other philosophers, but it was he who synthesized the ancient Greek into a unified Western philosophical system that will stand the test of time... The 2016 data breach of the personal Gmail account of [...]