Posts tagged Common Humanity
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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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The Love of Poems in a Post-Poetry Age: Part II

These half dozen elements are helpful because they focus our minds on the specific details of the poem and allow us to savor the work as a whole. That, more than anything, is the key to reading a poem well: drinking in every detail packed into the poem from beginning to end and thoughtfully appreciating it as a whole. Knowing what questions to ask helps us appreciate a good poem just like knowing what to look for in a wine helps us taste it intelligently and appreciatively.

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The Love of Poems in a Post-Poetry Age: Part I

What about great contemporary poets? Is anyone capable of capturing the American mind? I don’t know. But I do know that one recent poet caught the national mind of Ireland and was, more broadly, the greatest poet in the English language of the last few decades: the late great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. His poetry should, I believe, be a part of revitalizing our culture.

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Common Humanity or Common Core?

Here is a question for the classical education movement: Catholic schools, historically an important force in American education, are increasingly at risk of losing their distinctive mission.  In the hope of shoring up that mission, in the hope of a Catholic schools renaissance, what if they renewed their mission with a classical liberal arts vision?  

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