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Great Books

The main reason Western civilization, with an emphasis on “Great Books,” deserves a prominent—indeed, the prominent—place in the curriculum of the Christian university is stewardship: This study is how we lay claim to our rightful inheritance of wisdom, nobility, and gracefulness...

For Jane Austen, happiness in general is the goal of human action done according to morality, a code of conduct according to which every person has value; and happiness in marriage is the result of each spouse valuing and pursuing the other’s happiness above all else...

Members of democratic nations, especially Americans, have almost unlimited personal freedom because the constraints of class, local communities, and family have been greatly weakened. But we are also free to choose to step off the consumer treadmill, refuse to seek material success for us alone, and attempt...

“There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the first moment, before a word is spoken,” writes Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment. And such is the impression made upon us by Dosteovsky’s incredible psychological masterpiece... “Personally, I require a ceiling, although a high one....

To believe a republic is immortal is to destroy one’s own republicanism... Exactly how the Roman republic came into existence remains shrouded in mystery. Critically so. As with our tradition of English common law and...

Habits, mores, manners, and customs should prove more important in a republic than the law... "With Cicero fell the republic."—Russell Kirk As one of my grand Hillsdale colleagues, Dr. Stephen Smith, once said to me, there...
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If we do not understand words, through the apprehension and comprehension of their definitions, we cannot even begin to understand the wonders and glories of the cosmos that the Word Himself has brought forth... It seems that...
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The desire to belong to something greater than one's self is simply human, transcending time, place, and space. It's as natural as our need to breathe. In this sense, Aristotle put it correctly when he noted that man is meant to live in community...

The liberal conservative must be discerning. For he believes in freedom as well as in order. He believes in individualism as well as in community. He believes in the equality of all men as well as in hierarchy, natural aristocracy, and excellence...
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To attain virtue in solitude defeats the communitarian instincts of human nature. The avenue of politics is one of the mediums by which moral excellence can, and should, be practiced—for there are tremendous benefits wrought to the rest of society as a result...
teachers
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A free government is only sustainable if citizens can govern themselves. Socrates patiently revealed, through conversations that held a mirror up to fellow citizens, that they did not sufficiently understand such basic concepts as justice, piety, virtue, truth, and goodness when applied to themselves. Yet they presumed...

To engage in dialogue, we must be good listeners, seeking to hear an insight, perhaps fuzzily formulated and unclear even to the speaker, but nevertheless worthy of exploration... Every culture has its own conversational style that often...
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Do you believe in a higher power, something that transcends the “human organism”? If this question is trivialized or ignored, we enter the very sound and soul of despair... Anthropology is the scientific study of human beings....
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The misery will have to become more sharply unbearable, the suffering personal and yet wide-spread, before people begin to run after a real teacher, seize him by the hem of his overcoat, and beg him to take charge of their children. Let us not say that then...