Sacred Sociology

The Sacred Project of American Sociologyby christian smithoxford, 224 pages, $28.95 Things wouldn’t be so bad if the sacred project of American sociology were just the sacred project of American sociology. Allowances are made for sociologists. The problem is that all the human sciences as . . . . Continue Reading »

The Two Universities

In January, news came out that Emory University received a $400 million gift from the Woodruff Foundation. All of it will go to healthcare and research. That’s $100 million more than Michael Bloomberg’s foundation gave to the school of public health at Johns Hopkins in September 2016. Emory’s . . . . Continue Reading »

No Patrimony

The age-old distinction between schoolchildren and university students is fast losing its meaning. On many campuses, the infantilization of university students has become institutionalized. College administrators treat students as if they were biologically mature children rather than young men and . . . . 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 Unpopular Popular Humanities

To become an egalitarian in the area of beauty was to cancel your full appreciation of what is great and profound. We all like to slum it, sometimes, but to get too enthusiastic about pop culture materials or, worse, to take them seriously as objects of aesthetic judgment—well, that was an abdication of the critic's responsibilities, not to mention a sign of vulgar taste. Continue Reading »

The Loving Intellect

What does it mean to be an intellectual? The word comes from the Latin word for understanding, intellego. Lego has dense, multifaceted meanings: to choose, select, collect, and gather. It also means to read. When inter gets added, which means “between,” we get a compound meaning, something like . . . . 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 »