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Romantic poet, amateur orientalist, prolific essayist and speaker (author of “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “The American Scholar,” to name a few), and a leader of the Transcendentalist movement: these are but a few of the descriptors necessary to capture the contribution of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), on this anniversary of his death. Not a few schools have...

True confession: I’m feeling the failure of my fifty-two years. You see, William Shakespeare (whose birthday the world celebrated yesterday) died at fifty-two, having penned at least 40 of the world's greatest dramas. And, I haven’t composed even one! But, such is the melodrama of comparing oneself to a genius. Meanwhile, I’m taking note of the...

Today we’re posting an interview conducted at this year’s National Classical Education Symposium in Phoenix. Joining me for a few minutes is Dr. Karen Taliaferro, to discuss her scholarship and the story that led her to that research. From her Peace Corps experiences in Morocco and her quest for a deeper understanding of knowledge, Taliaferro research...

As we continue to weigh the incoming medical data on COVID-19, there remain a variety of other factors that require our consideration, not the least of which is the economic fallout of the stay-at-home quarantine. Attending to the public health, broadly understood, involves recognizing the interactions between a number of factors. At times, this seems...

For a variety of reasons, I have recently returned to C.S. Lewis’s essay “Learning In War-Time” as well as Josef Pieper’s book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture. Both have given me great satisfaction, over the years, and they seem particularly salient to our current (confined) situation. So, I was pleasantly surprised to run across an essay...

At last month’s Symposium, our minds were turned toward the craft and art of history--which, to our delight, has a lively element of story-telling at its center. In particular, Dr. Frederick Turner (University of Texas, Dallas) spent time with us, exploring the role and essence of historic epics.  While their mythological nature seems distant from historical reality,...

Recently re-reading Leon Kass, I was struck by the profoundly humane quality of his reasoning. As a trained physician, medical researcher, and ethicist, Kass has been involved with a number of deeply insightful projects (e.g., President’s Council on Bioethics) that promote a truly liberal understanding of the human experience, and I would argue that he...