On Classical Education and Being a Classical Teacher

Some Thoughts on “Hebraic Thought” vs. “...

Moses Hadas, writing of the perceived radical divide between Hebraic and Greek thought and life, notes that in 1 Corinthians 1:22 the Apostle Paul characterized the Jews as seeking after signs and the Greeks as seeking after wisdom.  This remark provides a biblical root for a dichotomization between “Hebraic” and “Greek” which has come to […]

To Forget Good Counsel is to Forget Prudence Itself

[17]But it may be answered: Socrates should have taught his companions prudence before politics. I do not deny it; but I find that all teachers show their disciples how they themselves practise what they teach, and lead them on by argument. And I know that it was so with Socrates: he showed his companions that […]

Lorenzo Valla on Theology and Rhetoric

Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457), best known as the Renaissance author who exposed the fraudulence of the Donation of Constantine (the theoretical foundation of the Medieval papacy), wrote the following comments about ancient theologians and contemporary ones: …In my opinion, if anyone should undertake to write theology, it makes little difference whether he has any other resources […]

How A Christian Should Read Virgil

The following remarks on reading Virgil were written by the Italian humanist Coluccio Salutati, around the year 1378: …I have dwelt upon this at such length that you may not suppose the reading of Virgil to be a mere idle occupation if one is willing to take the right view of it and to separate […]

Subcreation and “The Problem of Emeth”

[Update: In the wake of some early critiques of this post, I would like to clarify that what follows is not an attempt to exposit what C.S. Lewis thought about “the problem of Emeth.”  As has been pointed out to me, it seems fairly evident that Lewis didn’t think there was a problem.  The “problem of […]

Noble and Useful

“Liberal arts?  Ha, ha, ha, what are you going to do with that?  Flip burgers?”  “What does reading Aeschylus and Cicero have to do with real life?”  “How can I get my Latin grade up so I can keep playing soccer?”  “I’m taking the ACT again because I need half a point more to get […]

Is There Such a Thing as “Western Culture”?

Like probably most adults my age, I’ve thought about world history for years in terms of abstractions like “Judaeo-Christian culture” and “Greco-Roman culture” and “Western culture.”  Recently I’ve encountered arguments that such talk not only vastly oversimplifies the fantastically rich tapestry of history, but also underwrites a good bit of intellectual sloppiness on the part […]

“A Skimpy Knowledge is Not a Pleasing Thing”

Here’s a nice little exhortation from Hugh of St. Victor (ca. 1096 – 1141), one of the greatest of the Medieval theologians, concerning those who complain that they have no time to study things which they feel are superfluous to their chosen task: As in the virtues, so in the sciences, there are certain steps. […]

A General Overview of “Biblical Worldview”

The term “worldview” refers to “the way that a person views the world.”  The way that we view the world is made up of a variety of factors, including spiritual, cultural, emotional, and intellectual ones.  Worldviews are not just thoughts rattling around in people’s heads.  Thoughts in our minds come from our hearts and reflect […]

A Change in Education Changes the Whole State

Caspar Cruciger, the Dean of the arts faculty at Wittenberg in 1531, observed about education and political order: …Plato said [Republic IV, 424c] that the state changes if it comes about that the music changes; and this is not said uselessly.  But it is much truer that the state changes if studies are changed.  And indeed, […]