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’ [...]

“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 [...]

Horseman and Poet

By |2019-04-14T16:26:48-05:00April 13th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Glenn Arbery, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Writing|

This morning, I had the privilege of speaking to the entire student body and faculty of Portsmouth Abbey School on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, nine or ten miles north of Newport, Rhode Island. My topic was “why literature matters,” but my emphasis was on the way that identity politics ruins both literature [...]

Intellect and Intuition: Longing for Insight?

By |2019-04-08T17:39:56-05:00April 8th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

We say of people that they have intuition. We ap­parently mean that they apprehend things directly without belaboring them by analysis or even without accosting them with too close an inspection. Intuition is what we long for, thinking is what we can do. What follows? You asked me to speak about “Intellect and Intuition,” [...]

When Everybody’s an “Expert”

By |2019-04-02T21:11:38-05:00April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Education, Liberal Learning, Wisdom|

America’s everybody-gets-a-trophy syndrome has apparently made its way deep into the corridors of academia. Many times I’ve run into those who profess expertise in some field, only to scratch the surface and discover their academic credentials to be less than stellar. Ambrose Bierce defined education as “that which discloses to the wise and disguises from [...]

“Little Places” and the Recovery of Civilization

By |2019-04-02T09:31:25-05:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

It is mainly little places which permit the modesty of pace needed for long thoughts, and the conditions of closeness under which human beings begin to stand out and become distinct in their first and second nature. These places are the veritable harbors of refuge and recovery for civilization… Today, the same day on [...]

Two Kinds of Education

By |2019-03-31T22:19:34-05:00March 31st, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg|

We ought to discern the truth about our modern schools, remove our children from their ravages, and turn to the building of homeschooling communities and to involvement in classical charter schools. It is the only reasonable response to our modern schools, which have become unreasonable and morally irresponsible. As parents bring school age children [...]

A Manifesto for Liberal Education

By |2019-03-25T14:34:55-05:00March 25th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Since liberal education is non-academic, in my sense, it has real gravity, moral gravity. And so it is, finally, also concerned with questions of “good and evil.” The college years are the time for students to frame those moral allegiances that will help them decide more sure-footedly how to act when leisure is over [...]

The School for Scandal: A Parents’ Guide to Colleges in a Corrupt Era

By |2019-03-19T23:25:45-05:00March 19th, 2019|Categories: Education, St. John's College|

The recent scandal concerning parents who paid to bribe school officials to admit their children into college tells me that most parents know nothing about higher education in America. Here’s the straight skinny! “Education” is a way to understanding Western culture and languages, and the history, culture, and languages of other cultures. There are [...]

Momentary Morality & Extended Ethics

By |2019-03-18T22:32:13-05:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Ethics, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Morality, St. John's College, Virtue|

Morality requires command-issuing universal law; ethics, on the other hand, demands natural and acquired personal qualities. One human being may indeed live with two moralities, one public, one private, and this duplicity is not always hypocritical; it may simply make life livable and prevent it from becoming worse. You have been reading and talking about [...]

Immediacy: The Ways of Humanity

By |2019-03-11T23:39:09-05:00March 11th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Humanities, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Time, Wisdom|

Opposition to greatness comes from the kind of irrational irritation that made the Athenians ostracize Aristides because they were tired of hearing him called "the Just," or from egalitarian resentment, or from fear of the demands things of quality make on us... I want to steal four minutes of my talking time to speak of [...]

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 [...]

A Light in the East: Thoughts on Education from Japan

By |2019-03-07T00:26:45-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Education, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Having read Fr. Peter Milward’s book, My Idea of a University in Japan, I am firmly of the opinion that it needs an audience in the West. It is universally applicable and relevant to those seeking a deeper understanding of what constitutes an authentic university education. Last year saw the passing of Fr. Peter Milward, [...]