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Wonder Is Critical

I finished teaching a university course in faith and ideas a little while ago by administering individual oral exams to forty first-year students. The exams took place in a hotel bar overlooking a volcanic lake. The pope’s summer palace shone in the distance, and the Mediterranean gleamed . . . . Continue Reading »

The Proper Business of Mankind

Elijah, the great scholar (Gaon) of Vilna in the eighteenth century, is synonymous with total devotion to Torah study above all other pursuits. Paradoxically, because he held that deficiency in mundane wisdom leads to deficient understanding of God’s word, he has also become an emblem for . . . . 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 »

What (Who?) Is a University?

There is an old story, much loved by academics, that in an address to the Columbia University faculty in 1948 Dwight Eisenhower, then President of the university, prefaced his remarks with the phrase: “Now, you employees of Columbia University . . .”A member of the faculty interjected to correct . . . . Continue Reading »

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