Liberal Learning

Burning Bushes, Smoking Mountains, and the Law

By |2019-08-19T22:16:59-05:00August 19th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Civil Society, Education, History, Natural Law, Senior Contributors, Western Odyssey Series|

While much has been made of the “Ten Commandments” in recent history, men for centuries have accepted these commandments as deeply rooted in the order of the universe and of creation—as an overt expression of the Natural Law. They are one of the ways God has continued to maintain His love for His people. [...]

The Signs of a Good Education

By |2019-08-19T13:37:42-05:00August 19th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Education, Joseph Pearce, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, Truth, Virtue, Wisdom|

A school offering a good and true education will answer the question “What is truth?” in the words that Christ gave to His disciples when He told them that He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” An education that sidelines Christ or ignores Him, or which treats Christianity as only one of [...]

Converting the Cosmos of the Mind

By |2019-08-19T22:06:59-05:00August 19th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Plato, Quotation, Senior Contributors, Socrates, St. John's College|

At every moment of this present life, our readiness to learn was, and is now, up to us, was and is our responsibility, and on every day our life breaks around the before and after of a life-changing choice… though all the past choices ease or obstruct the present one. Our cosmos, the place [...]

Socrates on Statesmanship: The Actual Intention

By |2019-07-18T13:46:22-05:00August 12th, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Plato, Politics, Senior Contributors, Socrates, St. John's College|

Statesmanship is the craft of setting up a civic framework, a loom upon which the citizens of various temperaments, here the warp and woof, are interwoven into a cloak-like texture, which represents at once the body politic and its protective cover, as if to say that a well-interlaced citizenry will wrap itself in its own [...]

Unity in Difference: Language-Learning & God’s Kingdom

By |2019-08-10T22:07:13-05:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Charity, Christianity, Culture, Education, Language, Literature|

Learning another language helps me to not only understand, but to better experience first-hand how another person thinks, feels, and interacts with the world; this creates the possibility for empathy, fellow-feeling, and ultimately, charity. Having taught high-school Spanish for the first time last fall, I have been wondering why it is that we teach [...]

Mental Imagery

By |2019-07-29T10:53:04-05:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, Immanuel Kant, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Science, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

As Immanuel Kant says, the imagination is “a hidden art in the depth of the human soul.” It is a faculty which presupposes that somehow or other two worlds of objects are present to us, one of which seems to us to be outside, the other inside ourselves. The imagination is a puzzle not [...]

We Need More Imaginative Conservatives

By |2019-08-02T10:38:53-05:00July 28th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Imagination, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Politics|

Imagination is what makes a person human. A well-developed imagination is the key to a richer, fuller life, not just for the individual but for the community. When society suffers a loss of imagination, counterfeit forms of it will start appearing. Therefore, it should be the goal of conservatives to revive society’s imagination. It [...]

The Past-Present

By |2019-07-18T12:54:06-05:00July 22nd, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, History, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, St. John's College, Time, Tradition|

The past is, indeed, a place in which to take refuge when it is necessary to pull back, to contemplate life, and to mull things over. The present is the phase for brisk deliberation, decision, and action; for being in that sleepwalking state in which we do, more or less surefootedly, the one thing [...]

How Poetry Can Save Us in Our Age of Superficiality

By |2019-07-21T21:51:02-05:00July 21st, 2019|Categories: Culture, Liberal Learning, Literature, Poetry, Timeless Essays|

Poetry will not improve our students’ job prospects or make them better office workers, but it is more important now than ever to teach poetry because it offers a unique antidote to the superficiality that dominates American culture. Poetry calls us back to tradition and calls us out of the shallows into the deeper [...]

The Moral Imagination & Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-19T14:32:07-05:00July 17th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Edmund Burke, Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Jane Austen, Moral Imagination, St. John's College|

Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism… The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006) The Moral Imagination is a very engaging collection of a dozen essays on a dozen [...]

We Hold These Truths: Thoughts on the U.S. Constitution

By |2019-07-15T14:52:17-05:00July 15th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Constitution, St. John's College|

Editor's Note: What is the duty of government? What are the rights of man in a civilized society? What is the purpose of law? Mortimer Adler, scholar of, and advocate for, the Great Books, attempts to answer these questions and more in the following interview. Interposed with scenes of discussion from a seminar conducted at [...]

In Defense of the Humanities

By |2019-07-14T21:32:01-05:00July 14th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Learning, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

Any talk of saving culture, or restoring culture, begins with a defense of the humanities. Any hope of cultural revival equally begins with a re-emergence of the humanities. Any hope to truly celebrate—though not uncritically—the human person rests with being drenched in the dewfall of the humanities. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series [...]