Homer on Story-Telling

By |2019-02-05T20:46:11-05:00February 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 [...]

Blaise Pascal: The Mathematical and the Intuitive Mind

By |2019-02-01T10:53:24-05:00January 31st, 2019|Categories: Blaise Pascal, Christianity, Great Books, Philosophy, Religion|

Blaise Pascal’s argument in favor of Christianity was simple: Faith is so perceptible, even so palpable, to the intuition that man needs only to be in the world to realize that there must be more. Christianity has a direct connection to the heart; as Pascal said, “the heart has its reasons, which reason does not know”... [...]

Liberal Learning, the Human Person, and Plato’s “Meno”

By |2019-02-25T14:28:30-05:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Meno, Plato, St. John's College|

“First attend to the adjustment of your own soul, particularly the regulative liberal learning of your intellect, then project your internal economy on the world as social and political justice. The other way around is headless.”  – Eva Brann, The Music of the Republic: Essays on Socrates’ Conversations and Plato’s Writings Eva Brann is a [...]

The Fall and Degeneration of Man in “Gulliver’s Travels”

By |2019-01-24T12:02:31-05:00January 23rd, 2019|Categories: Fiction, Great Books, Paul Krause|

Gulliver’s Travels is a work that defends beauty, passion, and the sacred; it is an indictment against the prevailing spirit of Enlightenment philosophy and utopianism, an esoteric defense of Christianity against its Enlightenment critics, and a prophetic vision into the future degeneration of humanity… On October 28, 1726, the book known today as Gulliver’s Travels was [...]

With Gratitude to a Sentinel of Classical Learning

By |2019-01-19T22:30:00-05:00January 19th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

From time to time, there is the need for sentinels of classical learning, individuals who, if one is fortunate to be around them, beckon the meandering intellect back to the pursuit of the truth, the discovery of the good, and the conservation of the beautiful. In the end, the student is invited to the quest [...]

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 [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “The Fire Sermon”: Of Memory & Salvation

By |2019-01-13T21:57:22-05:00January 13th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Great Books, Modernity, Poetry, T.S. Eliot, Timeless Essays|

T.S. Eliot reminds us that the answers to our soul’s depravity are all around us, in our collective culture—the books we read, the places we inhabit, the music we listen to—but also that culture can only survive if we remember it and keep it alive... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers [...]

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 [...]

The Humanity of Huck Finn

By |2019-01-10T15:36:43-05:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Mark Twain, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Wisdom|

Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change? Huckleberry [...]

What, Then, Is Time?

By |2019-02-25T14:29:59-05:00January 7th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. Augustine, St. John's College, Time|

When our dean asked me to lecture this September it was because I’ve just completed a book on time, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about it. There seemed to be three possible kinds of profit that I figured might come to you and to me if I gave what one might [...]

Homer on Decision-Making

By |2019-01-07T13:59:29-05:00January 1st, 2019|Categories: 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 [...]