Cultivating Virtue in Our Students

On October 11, William Barr, U.S. Attorney General, gave a speech at The University of Notre Dame that has great importance for everyone involved in the American Classical Christian renewal. We strive to cultivate virtue in our students, but another word is often substituted: values. Barr comments about this word:

“What we call ‘values’ today are really nothing more than mere sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.”

He insists on a much bolder reading of “values.”

More Than Mere Sentimentality


This quote is emblematic of Barr’s mastery of language and meaning. Barr’s wide-ranging analysis touches on technology, family breakdown, and “macro morality.”

And consequently, he points to a solution we have been insisting on for nearly three generations.

“We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigor…Education is not vocational training. It is leading our children to the recognition that there is truth and helping them develop the faculties to discern and love the truth. . .”

Read the full speech by clicking below.

Read the text of Barr’s speech.