Saint Augustine on Figurative Language in Scripture

By |2020-02-09T02:20:00-06:00February 8th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Christine Norvell, Culture, Education, Religion, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Theology|

It’s true that when trying to understanding Scripture we need to establish an analysis of concrete terms. But if we aren’t careful, we just might explain away the beauty of descriptive language the Bible. Saint Augustine of Hippo encountered the same issue, and not just among his youngest students. In humanities coursework, we often [...]

On Teaching, Writing, and Other Discontents

By |2020-02-04T17:16:48-06:00February 4th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Teaching at a time when civilization is in such obvious disarray and such marked decline imposes even more stringent and pressing obligations on the teacher. I have reached the conclusion that what American teachers must do is really very basic: Teach young men and women how to read and write, how to imagine beyond [...]

Thinking Progressively by Acting Conservatively

By |2020-02-03T16:45:37-06:00February 3rd, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, David Deavel, Education, Equality, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

My progressive friends assure me that they are looking out for children, minorities, and especially minority children. The problem with this conceit is that when it comes to closing the achievement gap between Latino and white children on the one hand, and black and white children on the other, the only progressive cities are [...]

The Gravity of Gravity: A Quick Look at Astronomy and Its Relevance

By |2020-01-27T15:30:06-06:00January 27th, 2020|Categories: Andrew Seeley, Culture, Education, Great Books, History, Liberal Learning|

When a fascinating chaos has been observed enough to reveal patterns that allow prediction, the human mind is ready to ask, “Why?” So it is with the cosmos. Tracing the answers to this question throughout history allows us to understand the development of cosmology and its effects on moral imagination. Like most of the [...]

Joseph Priestly, School Lessons, and Liberty in Grammar

By |2020-01-18T11:12:13-06:00January 17th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Language, Western Civilization, Writing|

I did not become an English professor because of my early public education—but despite it. The standards advocated in the public schools pose a danger to our English-speaking world, and losing our language, or our ability to remake it, is indistinguishable from the diminishment of our Western civilization. Like most American children who attended [...]

Can We Save Our Dying English Departments?

By |2020-01-17T15:07:00-06:00January 16th, 2020|Categories: David Deavel, Education, Humanities, Literature, Senior Contributors|

We’ve been dumping Shakespeare, Milton, and Eliot in favor of the latest, trendy lesbian poet or controversial rapper. And then we wonder why fewer and fewer college students are majoring in English. What can be done to renew and revive our English departments in this age of political correctness? Q. What’s the difference between [...]

Of What Value Is a Dead Language?

By |2020-01-09T14:58:16-06:00January 8th, 2020|Categories: Books, Culture, Education, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The prestige of studying classical languages like Latin and Greek is greatly eroded today. This is no mystery; but how did we get to this point? Linguist Nicholas Ostler, in his book Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin, chronicles how Latin remained the one constant during the growth of Western culture. The claims he [...]

Remembering the Virtues

By |2019-12-30T10:47:46-06:00January 1st, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Culture, Education, Ethics, Senior Contributors, Virtue|

The virtues are rooted in nature, in creation, and in God’s will for us. They can be forgotten, mocked, or distorted, but, being real and true and beautiful, they can never be conquered. It was once true, unfortunately, that history was written by the victors. Now, it seems, we’ve gone terribly far in the [...]

Some Advice to Fellow Lovers of Liberal Learning

By |2019-12-26T16:02:58-06:00December 26th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

A preliminary function of a liberal education must be to serve as a purgative, a cleansing, of those who wish to be free. By its means we can cleanse ourselves of our undigested and unconscious prejudices. When it first came home to me that I would not be a tutor at the Graduate Institute [...]

Why America Is in Decline… and What to Do About It

By |2019-12-15T20:40:41-06:00December 15th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Community, Education, Journalism, Western Civilization|

A nation-state as old, and as large in territory, as the United States will experience in its old-age problems we associate with the elderly: loss of memory, preference for the past, reliance on creaky institutions that no longer work, limited income, and questions about the future. Our Constitution has logged 230 years since it was [...]

Choosing a Patron Philosopher of Debate: A Fable

By |2019-12-03T13:59:51-06:00December 3rd, 2019|Categories: Education, Philosophy, Rhetoric, Socrates|

I’ve been coaching debate for five years now, and as I’ve taught students how to play the game, the benefits of debate become obvious. At the same time, a danger lurks. Could debate inherently be an activity devoted to sophistry? Back from summer break, the varsity debate team gathers to determine an important part [...]

Jacob Klein: European Scholar and American Teacher

By |2019-12-02T23:47:19-06:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Jacob Klein, Meno, Plato, St. John's College|

Jacob Klein presents the model of teaching best fitting a stable community of liberal learning. He was a master of the somewhat mysterious art of leading from behind—by solicitous listening, by intimating questions, even by expectant silence. The subtitle of my talk might be “Liberal Education: Program and/or Pedagogy?” The reason is that I think of [...]