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liberal arts educationYes, it is cultures in the title, and I am proposing that a true Liberal Arts education can help us save our cultures. By cultures I am referring to the most impressive and insightful book by John W. O’Malley, The Four Cultures of the West. Couple that book with a most extraordinary article by David Lyle Jeffrey The Pearl of Great Wisdom: The Deep and Abiding Biblical Roots of Western Liberal Education and we are on the path to the nature of our cultures and the ways of saving them. The truth is that the Liberal Arts that could help save our cultures need saving. My strong suspicion is that if the Liberal Arts are saved, it will be by Classical Christian Schools and Home school families. A few years ago I would have held out hope that select universities under the banner of Christ would have helped. That day has passed due to a misguided sense of priorities inherited from the dominate American culture. Priorities of consumption and pragmatism have become triumphant. While it was an older occurrence that Behemoth University lost its way decades ago, the Christian University was bound to eventually catch up, since much of what it did was ape the worldly institutions.

On a most positive note, I have a sense that while some academic institutes are in decline, we are seeing a Renaissance  among Classical Christian schools and Home schoolers.  We are probably just a few years away from seeing the birth of Classical Christian Universities. I am hopeful.

As particular people, even outside of institutions, we can all get a quality Liberal Arts education. Start with the article and book mentioned in this article.  Then start a Great Books reading program or take classes that offer a Great Books curriculum.  Another helper is found in James Schall.  His Another Sort of Learning is delightful and instructive.

Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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2 replies to this post
  1. I am a homeschool mother who is doing her best to give her children a classical and Christian education. Though I fall far short of the ideal, my prayer is that my children will come closer to the goal with their own children. On days I am weary, I try to think of my homeschool as akin to the Medieval monastery, preserving and passing down the Great Tradition while barbarians pound at the gates. It heartens me.

    As far as liberal arts universities go, I am aware of several. The two which come immediately to mind are Gutenberg College in Oregon and New St. Andrews College in Idaho. These are new institutions founded specifically to further the liberal arts. Take heart; all is not lost.

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