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A Peculiar Little Test

Every two or three years, at a small, elite New England university, I offer a graduate-level course on “Nature Writing.” The students, as you might guess, exhibit a keen interest in birds, blossoms, bugs, and bears. Despite shared tastes, the composition of the class is impressively diverse, a . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Universities Went Secular

The source of the advertisement above is not P. G. Wodehouse, nor Anthony Trollope, nor even Mark Pattison. It appeared in the Cambridge University Reporter—in 1973. The eleven essays assembled by George Marsden and Bradley Longfield on the demise of university patronage of religion in . . . . Continue Reading »

The University in Moral Shambles

The good news is that more people are paying attention to the bad news. In the past year there has been an encouragingly widespread discussion of the role played by Politically Correct (PC) opinion on American campuses. Sundry “speech codes” aimed at limiting free expression and adopted in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pop Goes the Culture

We made a mistake in a recent public symposium by saying, in response to a question, that we had not listened to enough rock music to have an intelligent opinion about it. A journalist reporting on the meeting cited this as evidence certain that this writer is entirely out of touch with the culture . . . . Continue Reading »

Alasdair MacIntyre’s University

Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry by Alasdair MacIntyre University of Notre Dame Press, 241 pages, $24.95Over the course of the last five years or so the quality of philosophical inquiry into both ethical and religious matters has increased significantly. Martha Nussbaum’s The . . . . Continue Reading »

The Soul of the American University

Our subject is one of those peculiar phenomena taken for granted in the contemporary world but which from an historical perspective seem anomalous. The phenomenon is that the huge numbers of Protestants in the United States support almost no distinctively Christian program in higher education other . . . . Continue Reading »

Old Havana

. . . pongee-colored girls in white dresses the sun shone through in multiple haloes where they lay alongside streets like sofas reading José Martí behind potted ferns in avenue-knolls paved with Key West grass and long-leaved tobacco shaved and scented like bark strips. . . . . Continue Reading »

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