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Briefly Noted

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts:  Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World by christopher de hamel penguin, 640 pages, $45 Illuminated manuscripts remain cultural touchstones of the Middle Ages, symbols of forgotten learning, mystery, and beauty. Unfortunately, they are often locked away in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Forgotten Virtue

At present there is a great deal of handwringing about civility. On campus, students in screaming packs set upon speakers or professors who have said things that the earnest young have been taught to find offensive. Other students are encouraged by university administrators to act as spies, handing . . . . Continue Reading »

An Integrated Humanist

John Senior and the Restoration of Realismby francis bethel, o.s.b.thomas more, 452 pages, $34.99 H igher education has survived the end of the American century, if just barely. American colleges and universities are like a naval mothball fleet that’s still afloat but not seaworthy. Some schools . . . . Continue Reading »

The Difference a Name Makes

It’s amazing the difference a name makes. On one day this past week, nearly a hundred endangered elephants were killed and around 3,000 abortions were performed in the United States alone, and we were unfazed, but the killing of Cecil the lion broke our hearts. He wasn’t just any random lion. He was Cecil. Mere lions (along with chickens, cows, lambs, and pigs) are killed, but Cecil was murdered. We love the lion that was named Cecil. We feel as if we knew him. Continue Reading »

More than “in God's Image”

We live in an increasingly secular society. One consequence of this cultural shift is the rejection of the once uncontroversial belief that humans reside uniquely at the pinnacle of moral worth.Activist academics, purveyors of popular culture, and issue ideologues across a wide swath of movements—from bioethics, to animal rights, to environmentalism—seek to knock us off the pedestal. Public intellectuals like Princeton University’s Peter Singer even argue that being human is morally irrelevant; what matters is possessing sufficient cognitive capacities to qualify as a “person.” Continue Reading »

Teaching Christian Humanism

Once we’ve denounced the balderdash that all too often passes for teaching in contemporary American colleges, there still remains the question of what we ought to teach instead. Indignation is an insufficient alternative to the brutal secularization of the college curriculum. But some conservative . . . . Continue Reading »

Education and the Mind Redeemed

I The early Church father Tertullian asked a famous question, one that has been asked again and again in the history of the Church, and that I would like to ask again: “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” By Athens he means intellectual culture, the life of the mind, the study of . . . . Continue Reading »

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