Telling Lies

By |2019-06-21T12:34:08-05:00June 17th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, E.B., Eva Brann, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homer, Iliad, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Odyssey, Plato, St. John's College|

We should learn to cultivate the unwillingness to tolerate the unwitting, untold lie in the soul, and the wit and wisdom to transmute the unavoidable lying of any utterance into the telling lies that reveal truth… The first lecture of the school year is, by an old tradition, dedicated to the freshmen among us. Whether [...]

The Divine Tragedy of Achilles

By |2019-04-27T21:45:41-05:00April 27th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Heroism, Homer, Hope, Iliad|

The Iliad is Homer’s vehement attempt to reconcile god and man, clairvoyantly musing on how terrible and wonderful it would be if a man possessed a divine nature. As the heroes of The Iliad are slain in blood, Homer gives each of them an epitaph in poetry, that they may die not as expendable [...]

Great Books I Wouldn’t Want to Be In (And Some I Would!)

By |2019-04-26T23:13:59-05:00April 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Books, Homer, Jane Austen, Mark Twain|

It is interesting that at least half the great books I considered for this list were stories I would not want to enter, but loved reading. Literature allows us to gain a breadth of experience our own circumstances would not permit and at very little expense to us… If there’s something book lovers like [...]

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’ [...]

Homer on Hospitality

By |2019-05-30T09:48:26-05:00February 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 us who live in that most confusing and rudderless of centuries. Had it been in their power [...]

Homer on Story-Telling

By |2019-05-30T10:14:38-05:00February 5th, 2019|Categories: Homer, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series|

I have read your books, and I have discovered that many of you believe that people are products of their environment. How can you believe such things, and yet deny altogether the influence of the past? Nature may give us robust health or leave us scarred, but her traces upon us are minor things compared [...]

Odysseus: Patron Hero of the Liberal Arts

By |2019-02-25T14:28:17-05:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Classics, E.B., Education, Eva Brann, Great Books, Homer, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Odyssey, St. John's College|

Odysseus has the art we need. I think he came by it through a rare combination of acutely honed cleverness and deep-souled imagination; we can acquire it by education. This art, the art of discovering significance, is the art of interpretation... I am to write about my hero Odysseus and to connect him to Liberal [...]

Liberal Education and the “Much-Enduring” Odysseus

By |2019-01-25T08:46:09-05:00January 19th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Homer, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Literature, Odyssey, St. John's College, Wisdom|

The epithet “much-enduring” is often associated with moments when we see the interplay between Odysseus’ self-knowledge and his ability to use his experience to judge and adapt himself to circumstances; between his enduring self and purpose, and the many-ness of his schemes and courses of action... Editor’s Note: This essay is part of a series [...]

The Classics and Christianity

By |2019-01-11T15:44:57-05:00January 11th, 2019|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Civilization, Classical Education, Classics, Culture, Great Books, Homer, Liberal Learning, Literature, Myth, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Virgil, Western Civilization, Western Tradition, Worldview|

Christians invented the classical curriculum; it is as much part of the broader Western inheritance as it is specifically part of the Christian inheritance… Why study old books? How do dusty old books written by dead men and women thousands of years ago grow my faith? Such can be common thoughts when the Christian [...]