Rembrandt: All Things to All Men

Rembrandt: All Things to All Men

As with great works of imaginative literature, masterworks of art move us to understand and appreciate the human condition. And no master artist moves us better than Rembrandt. In his more than three hundred paintings, Rembrandt’s focus is riveted on what is real—specifically, the imperfect and yet glorious spectacle of human existence.  

Classical Millennials?

Classical Millennials?

Can a classical alternative to today’s typical educational options appeal to the very non-traditional, highly mobile, hyper-tech-savvy millennials? I think the answer is yes, but for those of us who provide opportunities for classical education, we need to think more like millennials. We need to get inside their box and offer an attractive option that makes sense to them.

Our Latest Initiative: October, 2017

Our Latest Initiative: October, 2017

The Cana team has an opportunity to work among some distant neighbors who could benefit from the kind of learning culture we develop. In late September I was invited to give a presentation to a board of reviewers of the Gila River Indian Community. My hosts were the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, a recently formed order of priests and brothers who have responded to the call to minister to the Native Americans just south of Phoenix, Arizona. Their hope is to open a mission high school in two years, and they have turned to Cana Academy to help them get that done. I was on site to propose a vision for the curriculum, and the friars have accepted the proposal. Now, the Cana team is constructing the curriculum.

Ernest Gordon: Building Heaven in the Midst of POW Hell

Ernest Gordon: Building Heaven in the Midst of POW Hell

In the almost indescribably horrific conditions of those camps, death was a daily reality for the prisoners. The cruelty of the guards, the wretched food, the dangerous and incessant labor, and disease left the prisoners in a state that would best be described as subhuman. At this nadir of the possibilities of the human condition, Gordon’s second, spiritual journey began.

John Newton and "Amazing Grace"

John Newton and "Amazing Grace"

When John Newton penned "Amazing Grace" in 1779, he was writing from personal experience: His life had indeed been fraught with “dangers, toils and snares,” and he knew that it was only by the grace of God that he was still alive and well.

Common Ground for Great Texts: Part III

Common Ground for Great Texts: Part III

When choosing expository texts, the most important criterion to follow is this: Great expository texts from the past illuminate historical reality, including our own. They form a body of knowledge that helps students understand the world for which they will be increasingly responsible.

Common Ground for Great Texts: Part II

Common Ground for Great Texts: Part II

When we are looking for works of imaginative literature, we should choose texts that move us to feel more deeply the human condition and to see more clearly the life we have in common.

Common Ground for Great Texts: Part I

Common Ground for Great Texts: Part I

For all of us who teach in classical programs, we want our students to read great texts: the finest poems, plays, novels, and stories and the most exceptional readings in history, theology, politics, and philosophy. How does a book make it onto the list of great texts?

Great Teachers Open Up the World

Great Teachers Open Up the World

Great teachers open up the world for their students. They lovingly point the way to newfound horizons and give their students the intellectual equipment they need to go as far as they can go. As this is the start of a new school year, I want to honor three teachers in my life. Each of them was different in age, appearance, and personality, but all three were impressive human beings who extended great gifts to me.