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St. John's College

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What is interesting is the ultimate human predicament, when serious principles, serious commitments are at odds, and there is no apparent way to compose them in sight, except for giving something up, or giving in—that will be a surrender of self. Why are we in these predicaments...
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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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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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Is memory deceptively transformative? Is the original imagination an organ for lying fictions, for deception, or a conduit for revelatory illumination? And so, more generally, how do we explain those images that are apparently not imitations, don’t have an origin in verifiable originals, be they stored in...
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"That brings me to the protection of the exchanges that are the life of learning from dangers both within and without the classroom. Of these there are many, of which I’ll mention only one: the corruption of conversation...
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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...
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If scientists were to look inward with the same seriousness with which they look outward, they would be forced to reflect upon the interior life, upon the creature who seeks truth, desires to know everything, delights in beauty, experiences joy when the truth is encountered, and wonders...
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Each great teacher locates the fundamental problem of human living differently: The Buddha cites suffering; Socrates points to ignorance; and Jesus identifies faulty love. In addition, all three Masters teach that the task set for each human soul is to travel from illusion to reality...
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Intellectual life provides an escape in that it is beyond “straitened circumstances,” but the escape is again a flight into realities beyond oneself: animal behavior, astronomy, and the mechanics of the inner life. The intellect has no limit to its subject matter: It reaches greedily for the...

Abraham Lincoln did all that he could to preserve constitutional rule by trying to teach his fellow citizens what it means to be an American... The paradox of Abraham Lincoln’s appearance in the United States’ sectional conflict...

Join The Imaginative Conservative's Winston Elliott as he talks with Christopher Nelson, president of St. John's College, about his service at St John’s, and about the unique kind of liberal arts education offered there. President Nelson discusses the mission of St. John's College, the role of the...
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Jacob Klein was, first and last, every inch a teacher, a teacher who stymied discipleship in the very effort to induce learning. He did, indeed, have some teachings to convey—a few, though those were powerful and of large consequence... Editor's Note: This essay was read as...
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Please join Peter Kalkavage as he discusses the metaphysics of music: music's role in the liberal arts, the paradox in the union of rational and irrational, order and feeling in its composition, and music's connection and reflection of the deeper order of the natural...
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In Modernity, the capacity for effortless knowing is denied, ignored, or misunderstood. As a result, the origin of all knowledge is taken as unaided human effort and activity... The Two Modes of the Mind