The Great Thing about Expectations

The Great Thing about Expectations

In Charles Dickens’ 1861 book Great Expectations, Pip is a young orphan with no prospects—and no one expects much of him. An anonymous gift of wealth comes his way, and things change. He is expected to become a gentleman. In this simple synopsis, we catch a glimpse of...

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In Defense of the West

In Defense of the West

By KATHARINE SAVAGE Where I live, mention the Great Books or the Western tradition, and you are likely given a polite sneer, at best. At worst, you’ll hear the all too familiar string of adjectives: “racist,” “post-colonial,” “bigoted.” And this is a real conundrum...

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Powerful and Dangerous: Men Are Not Angels

Powerful and Dangerous: Men Are Not Angels

Men are not Angels Thomas Hobbes, describing a condition without government called the “state of nature,” said that the life of man without authority is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Human beings are naturally ambitious, greedy, interested in their own...

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Kings Who are Subjects and Subjects Who are Kings

Kings Who are Subjects and Subjects Who are Kings

In the year 410 AD, a new “order” for governing nations emerged, not from a king, but from a theologian. His idea remained with us into the twentieth century. Its slow loss threatens our freedom in the twenty-first. The sacking of Rome by Aleric the Visigoth inspired...

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Luther’s Transformation of Western Civilization

Luther’s Transformation of Western Civilization

"EVERYONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN FAITH, AND HE MUST SEE TO IT FOR HIMSELF THAT HE BELIEVES RIGHTLY.” --Martin Luther Literacy in the West From the start of the reformation in 1519, literacy rates across the West skyrocketed. See the interactive literacy rate chart...

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The Formation of the First “University”

The Formation of the First “University”

By ANTHONY M. ESOLEN The first time I visited the Sistine Chapel, I didn’t know much about Christian painting.  I did know a lot about the faith, though now I see that I was just starting on that journey.  I remember there were crowded lines down the stairs, and...

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Christ, the Crux of Human History

Christ, the Crux of Human History

By DR. BRIAN A. WILLIAMS “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? … For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and...

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IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD—A REVOLUTIONARY IDEA LOST

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD—A REVOLUTIONARY IDEA LOST

By LOUIS MARKOS Plato's Idea of Standards “Behold,” wrote the ancient Greek philosopher Plato some 2400 years ago, “we are deceived about the very nature of the world in which we live. We are like men who have been imprisoned since birth in the deep belly of a cave....

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At Home

At Home

In my years as a headmaster, I had hopes of making every child understand the ideas of the West, and live out the good, the true, and the beautiful ones. Some did. But others did not. Looking back, more than any idea we taught, the family made all the difference....

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Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed

Shown above: Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381. Required memory work at many classical Christian schools, this statement of faith was...

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Transcendent: The Not-So-Obvious Idea About God

Transcendent: The Not-So-Obvious Idea About God

By DOUGLAS WILSON If you are willing to indulge me for a moment, picture two different whales. One of the whales inhabits an ocean that we might call “reality,” or “all that exists.” He is the biggest and strongest resident of that ocean, but he is nevertheless...

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Further

Further

The ideas of the West are central to much of the way we live and perceive the world. The Summer 2019 Special Issue of The Classical Difference provides several unique perspectives on these important ideas. Want to dig deeper? The Classical Difference: "The West"...

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Trivium Art

Trivium Art

It was when I was happiest that I longed most … The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing … to find the place where all the beauty came from.—C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces IN THE 13TH CENTURY, a crew of planners and artists in Laon, France,...

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Lean Out or Lean In: Liberal Arts as a Path to Leadership

Lean Out or Lean In: Liberal Arts as a Path to Leadership

Spring 2019 By Rob Sentz, EMSI As Christians, we can agree that education is about a lot more than securing a good job. In his essay “Our English Syllabus,” C.S. Lewis writes that the purpose of education is to produce the good man, “the man of good taste and good...

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Feasting and Fasting

Feasting and Fasting

Spring 2019 Lent: March 6 - April 18 In my young mind, Mardi Gras was bright purple, yellow, and green. Lent was brown, on the spectrum somewhere between the colors of dust and sackcloth. Brown still seems like a good color for Lent, but in a peaceful and anticipatory...

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