“Little Places” and the Recovery of Civilization

By |2021-06-18T12:31:11-05:00June 18th, 2021|Categories: E.B., Education, Essential, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Timeless Essays, 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 which [...]

Heart and Mind

By |2021-06-11T15:50:42-05:00June 12th, 2021|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Glenn Arbery, Graduation, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Love, Wyoming Catholic College|

Paying attention to the guidance of the heart is no guarantee of prudent action, as Mark Antony and Cleopatra demonstrate with grand style, but there is something nobler in giving the heart its whole due than in bypassing its counsel and resorting to mere calculation. According to the 17th century mathematician and Catholic apologist Blaise [...]

Anna Julia Cooper: Uplifting the Oppressed With Liberal Arts Education

By |2021-06-10T16:14:10-05:00June 10th, 2021|Categories: Classical Education, Education, History, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning|

Anna Julia Cooper passionately defended classical education during the Reconstruction Era when the dilemma of how to educate former slaves arose. Cooper, a former slave herself, preached the virtue of classics and their necessary vitality to the soul. Anna Julia Cooper Why would a Black American female ex-slave revere the wisdom of dead [...]

Winged Words: Reading & Discussing Great Books

By |2021-06-01T09:36:29-05:00June 1st, 2021|Categories: Aristotle, Dante, Essential, Featured, Great Books, Homer, Humanities, Imagination, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Peter Kalkavage, Plato, St. John's College, Timeless Essays|

Great books introduce us to ideas and to ways of looking at the world that are new to us. They provide a refreshing distance from the trends, fashions, tastes, opinions, and political correctness of our current culture. Great books invite us to put aside for a while our way of looking at the world and [...]

Requiem for a Soldier: Louis Awerbuck

By |2021-06-11T08:57:46-05:00May 30th, 2021|Categories: Classics, Sophocles, War|Tags: |

Louis Awerbuck believed that societies fell to folly when they drew distinct lines between their warriors and scholars. What this ultimately led to was a society’s thinking being done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. Awerbuck saw himself as the keeper of a tradition, a heritage of warriors in ages past, and civilization’s [...]

The Imitation of Heroes

By |2021-05-29T05:45:43-05:00May 28th, 2021|Categories: Christopher B. Nelson, Classical Education, Classics, Featured, Liberal Learning, Phaedo, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College, Timeless Essays|

The demise of imitation has been devastating for personal growth. It used to be a commonplace that successful people need to have extraordinary “heroes” whom they admire and try to emulate. But the historical disciplines in the twentieth century waged something of a war against the very idea of the hero. Imitation, like so many [...]

Liberal Learning: Faithful & Useless?

By |2021-05-27T09:18:24-05:00May 26th, 2021|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Graduation, Liberal Learning, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

The following is the text of Dr. Eva Brann’s Commencement Address at Zaytuna College, the Muslim liberal arts college in Berkeley, CA, delivered during a virtual ceremony on May 23, 2021. Hello to the about-to-be alumni of Zaytuna College! How I wish I could be with you face-to-face and hear your individual accounts of the [...]

Love Letters

By |2021-05-18T12:06:23-05:00May 26th, 2021|Categories: Language, Love, Writing|

The letters of the alphabet, strung together in cogent meaning, might be best thought of, not as means to an end, but as an end in and of themselves—a living, incarnated creativity that encourages relationship. And I like to consider speech, in all its forms, as love letters. My youngest child, just nearing his seventh [...]

Getting First Things First in Catholic Higher Education

By |2021-05-22T21:44:28-05:00May 23rd, 2021|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Education, Liberal Learning|

The long tradition of Catholic higher education is a substantive reality that is held in trust. Too often it has been squandered, sometimes irreparably. Yet “What We Hold in Trust” can serve as a guide for those who have hope of renewal and those who are thinking about new institutions. What We Hold in Trust: [...]

Homer’s “Odyssey” Is a Gift

By |2021-05-23T00:58:14-05:00May 20th, 2021|Categories: Classics, Essential, Eva Brann, Featured, Great Books, Homer, Odyssey, W. Winston Elliott III|

“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.” So begins Homer’s Odyssey. Long ago I launched my ship in pursuit of the true, the good, and [...]

Controlling Student Speech… On and Off Campus

By |2021-06-18T13:13:22-05:00May 19th, 2021|Categories: American Republic, Education, First Amendment, Free Speech, Government, Senior Contributors, Supreme Court, Thomas R. Ascik|

Will elementary, secondary, and university students, off campus as well as on campus, be forbidden to criticize, for example, critical race theory and the new American history curricula? And will that prohibition be extended to parents? The grandiose and centralized cradle-through-college education plans of Joe Biden and the Democratic party have now been plainly stated. [...]

Car Repair, Self-Interest, & the Benevolent Investor

By |2021-05-19T10:43:50-05:00May 19th, 2021|Categories: Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Christopher B. Nelson, Happiness, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Timeless Essays|

The figure of the universally benevolent man seems in many circles to have taken a back seat to the stunted, self-centered Economic Man. We ought to ask ourselves: Are we losing a nuanced sense of self-interest rightly understood? I have been reminiscing a lot lately, probably a sign of my age. But I recently came to [...]

Graduation Day: Do You Want to Change the World?

By |2021-05-14T11:03:33-05:00May 14th, 2021|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Across the nation commencement speakers bid the graduates, “Go forth and change the world” or “make a difference.” But should you want to change the world? Parents and Relatives, Fellow Tutors and Mr. President, Board Members and, above all, Santa Fe Seniors and Graduate Institute students! Some of you will remember that radio-telephone distress signal [...]

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