“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 [...]

Tolkien, Lewis, and the Need for Literary Realism

By |2019-04-06T22:40:38-05:00April 6th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Literature, Senior Contributors, Wisdom, Wyoming Catholic College|

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis tempt us to escape to a self-evidently numinous world rather than to seek out the texture of wonder in this one. What we need is an unsparing literary realism—literature without recourse to fantasy, literature in which talking trees do not come to the rescue. It’s quiet at Wyoming Catholic [...]

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 [...]

Euripides’ Advice to Us About Change

By |2019-04-02T22:01:24-05:00April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Happiness, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, Wisdom|

Our lives are marked by reversals and recognitions for which we are rarely prepared. That change will come is certain, whether on the stage or in your home. The only question is how you will receive it when it comes. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, [...]

“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 [...]

Up From Entitlement

By |2019-03-16T23:33:37-05:00March 16th, 2019|Categories: Christian Living, Christianity, Glenn Arbery, Wisdom, Wyoming Catholic College|

Lent is an extended occasion for us to re-examine characteristic and mostly unconscious feelings of “entitlement,” that buzzword of our day... Lent is once again upon us—and not a moment too soon. When Ash Wednesday comes, even mild fasting and abstinence wake us up and reveal all kinds of things we have taken for granted. [...]

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 [...]

From Diotima to Christ: Augustine’s Visionary Ascents in the “Confessions”

By |2019-03-15T20:42:53-05:00March 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Truth, Wisdom|

Augustine’s Confessions is the odyssey of the soul. It is the odyssey of the human heart, as Augustine shifts from the emphasis of intellect to the primacy of love. He shows that it is not by having a strong mind that one is capable of ascent and touching; rather, it is by having a strong [...]

Socrates & the Un-Willed Life

By |2019-03-05T12:07:03-05:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College, Wisdom|

For Socrates choices are of a life-pattern. Decisions, which are the deliberated choices that a particular occasion calls for, are not his mode, even at a crucial moment. Such choice, decision occasioned by the moment, will become the pivot of action. It is notoriously difficult to prove a negative, to catch, as it were, non-being [...]

The Explorer and the Cardinal: Two Views on Silence

By |2019-03-02T15:29:17-05:00March 2nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Christian Living, Happiness, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

Solitude takes us out to deep and spacious waters where we see that silence is one of our greatest gifts and blessings, in which we discover not only ourselves but God as well. It’s striking the number of books coming out recently on the subject of silence; it must be a felt need in [...]

Liberal Education: The Foundation and Preservation of a Free Society

By |2019-02-28T15:50:32-05:00February 27th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Freedom, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Liberty, Tradition, Western Tradition, Wisdom|

In a time of economic uncertainty, liberal education holds out the promise of joy in learning, contentment in contemplating truth, and satisfaction in community. These things are available to all people, rich or poor. Liberal education and the free society have always been intimately connected. A liberal education, an education which prepares one for [...]

The Beauty Contest

By |2019-02-25T09:23:38-05:00February 22nd, 2019|Categories: Beauty, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Socrates, St. John's College, Virtue, Wisdom|

The beauty contest illustrates the difficulty with the term for and maybe the very idea of gentlemanliness—are good and beautiful two criteria or one? If they are two, how are they related? Could the beautiful be whatever compellingly attracts? Furthermore, what is truly and justly compelling? Editor’s Note: This essay is part of a series dedicated [...]

True Love: Passionate Reason versus Romantic Feeling

By |2019-01-24T11:28:19-05:00February 13th, 2019|Categories: Caritas in Veritate, Christian Living, Christianity, Community, Compassion, Heroism, Joseph Pearce, Love, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

Oh, love to some is like a cloud, To some as strong as steel, For some a way of living, For some a way to feel, And some say love is holding on And some say letting go, And some say love is everything And some say they don’t know.   John Denver (Perhaps [...]