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Liberal Arts

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Dear Graduating Seniors: As Simone Weil teaches us in her essay on the right use of school studies, the purpose of academic study is to become ever more attentive to reality, to God, as He is...
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Patrick Deneen has entitled his book Why Liberalism Failed, but by his own analysis, he could have entitled it Why Liberalism Succeeded... Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen (248 pages, Yale University Press, 2018)

Search the web and you will find any number of lofty “purposes of education:” Education enables us to develop to the fullest. Education cultivates the human mind with values and principles. Education teaches us to think and...
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A great books education exposes students to the best “inquirers” in the Western Tradition. Scientists and mathematicians are certainly inquirers. The best of them seek wisdom about nature, God, human beings, and the relationship among them. However, there are other ways of inquiring into these realities. The...
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We are racing through the twenty-first century with our schools following the culture, rather than education molding the culture through our youth... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Tony Williams as he discusses how our school system has...
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The qualities that I would love most of all to see in all our students could not be better described than by Edmund Burke’s account of the chivalric demeanor: "that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself,...
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In the last few years, accounts of the growing politicization of academic discourse have made their way from colleges and universities onto conversations on a public, and perhaps national, scale. What is the essence behind such rancor?... There are two ways of getting home; and one...
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On Tuesday, after my monthly coffee hour with the students, one of the graduating seniors caught up with me to ask what exactly it meant to say, as we do in our mission statement, that our mission involves...
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Everything in nature changes—but love strives for the immortal. What keeps the form of a college supple and stable must be love for something essentially unchanging and yet eternally young, the “beauty so ancient and so new”...
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The characteristic frame of mind befitting liberal education is reverent radicality—deep respect and penetrating questions. It is a serious mistake to present liberal education as preoccupied with “questioning,” a surreptitiously skewering aggression on the way things are... Editor’s Note: St. John’s College and Zaytuna College both describe...
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The philosophical roots of the liberal arts can free students from a life of slavery spent spelunking in the cave of ignorance, trivialities, and the merely menial... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Robert M. Woods as he...
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At best, what the typical college has offered its students, in recent decades, has been defecated rationality. By that term I mean a narrow rationalism or logicalism, purged of theology, moral philosophy, symbol and allegory, tradition, reverence, and the wisdom of our ancestors. This defecated rationality is...
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A Catholic, liberal-arts college’s course of study, being an integrated one ordered to and by natural and supernatural wisdom, is an excellent apprenticeship into the contemplative life, which does not replace the active life, but only crowns it and makes it worthwhile... Therefore do not be...
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Great books introduce us to ideas and to ways of looking at the world that are new to us. They provide a refreshing distance from the trends, fashions, tastes, opinions, and political correctness of our current culture. Great books invite us to put aside for a while...