Hegel & Spirit: The Logic of Desire

By |2018-11-21T08:39:09-06:00July 21st, 2015|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Literature, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College|

Peter Kalkavage, The Logic of Desire: An Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Paul Dry books Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is an enthralling “picture gallery” (447)* of the successive incarnations in which human consciousness appears in the world; it is also a repellant trudge through the abstract dialectic by which its concept develops. I would claim [...]

Plato’s “Timaeus”: A Unique Universe of Discourse

By |2018-11-21T08:39:11-06:00June 23rd, 2015|Categories: Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Peter Kalkavage, Philosophy, Plato, St. John's College|

Before reviewing Peter Kalkavage’s Focus Press translation of the Timaeus, I must, in all fairness, confess my partiality. He, Eric Salem, and myself were the co-translators of Plato’s Phaedo and his Sophist for the same publisher. Together, over several years, we worked out some principles of translation which are discernible in this Timaeus version. In [...]

In the Heaven of Knowing: Dante’s Paradiso

By |2018-11-09T11:55:48-06:00August 10th, 2014|Categories: Books, Christianity, Dante, Featured, Heaven, Peter Kalkavage, Poetry, St. John's College|

“For we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 The focus of my talk this evening is the Paradiso, the culminating and most beautiful part of Dante’s Comedy. The Paradiso has much to tell us about happiness, the perfection of the intellect, the nature of true freedom, the flourishing of community, the role [...]

On Nature and Grace: The Role of Reason in the Life of Faith

By |2020-05-13T16:09:33-05:00August 3rd, 2014|Categories: Christianity, Essential, Faith, Nature, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, St. Thomas Aquinas|

“Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:20 My goal this evening is to praise reason—that is, speculative reason—in the context of Christian faith. Speculative here refers to reason that seeks the truth for [...]

Plato’s Refugees: A Visit to St. John’s College

By |2021-02-10T20:48:56-06:00June 17th, 2014|Categories: Eva Brann, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

The first thing one notices while strolling the beautiful grounds of St. John’s College is that there are no cell phones. At least, none are visible. Indeed, there are no tablets, no laptops, no electronics of any sort readily discernible. The absence of screens, faculty member Eva Brann proposes, precludes students from “dispersing themselves,” giving them [...]

The Musical Universe and Mozart’s “Magic Flute”

By |2020-07-29T16:00:13-05:00October 19th, 2013|Categories: Music, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

“The Magic Flute” has been called Mozart’s “Masonic opera,” and so it is. Mozart was a serious Freemason. But the Masonic influence is of secondary importance to the power and precision of Mozart’s music, which, like all great music, is inexhaustible. Every act of listening to this work brings new discoveries. “Feelings are ‘vectors’; for [...]

Plato’s Timaeus and the Will to Order

By |2021-02-09T16:34:37-06:00July 27th, 2012|Categories: Books, Classics, Featured, Peter Kalkavage, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Plato, through the drama of the “Timaeus” reminds us of the dangers of being human as well as the dangers of philosophy. Danger and safety, perhaps the most central terms of the Platonic dramas, become central because of Plato’s care for what we do and what we suffer. And whoever thinks another a greater friend [...]

Winged Words: Reading & Discussing Great Books

By |2017-01-18T10:54:07-06:00July 11th, 2012|Categories: Books, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College|

Peter Kalkavage St. John’s College and the Great Books Program here at Mercer University have much in common. Both programs revolve around a set of great works of Western civilization. In both programs these works are approached through discussion rather than lecture. In both, students are encouraged to learn from one another rather [...]

The Neglected Muse: Why Music Is an Essential Liberal Art

By |2021-02-09T16:00:03-06:00March 22nd, 2012|Categories: Liberal Learning, Music, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College|

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. –Plato Music transcends the classroom, the concert stage, and professional recordings. It pervades life. Mankind has long used music in all sorts of ways, to celebrate, to lament, to dance, to pray, to soothe or arouse, to woo, to infuse courage and [...]

Music in the Modern Age

By |2016-03-26T13:05:40-05:00March 3rd, 2012|Categories: Books, Culture, Music, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College|Tags: , |

Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, Robert R. Reilly, Washington, D. C.: Morley Books, 2002. In his generous and beautifully written book, Robert Reilly leads us through the vast, largely unknown territory of twentieth-century music. The title recalls C. S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy and the poem of the [...]

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