Education & Culture

The fourth pillar, education and culture, is built upon the recognition of two essential realities. First, the Western intellectual tradition requires a dedication to and desire for truth. Second, education takes place not only within colleges and universities but within our broader culture, whose institutions and practices form us as whole persons.

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From the river to the sea, human flourishing will only be advanced through a nuanced and empathetic attitude to both sides. Radical stances that dehumanize one side, turning its babies into colonizers and marking them as legitimate targets for attack, do not advance freedom or justice. Quite the opposite.
Postsecondary education in the United States needs the discipline of the market. Putting all public colleges and universities on a path to privatization—and, eventually, removing all forms of public subsidy—is how to get there.
As I revisited the familiar lyrics from my childhood, I noticed new themes and deeper meanings. To my surprise, I soon reached the unlikely conclusion that this classic family film has much to teach us about women, work, and feminism.
Cosmic Connections has intermittent charms. Those blessings were not sufficient, however, to justify the time and effort necessary to read the book.
Ideology replaces respect for the dignity of the human person with celebration of a new humanity required for its perfected social and political order.
The original rationale for summer camp is more valid than ever. Young people are struggling with mental health, addiction to technology, disconnection from the body, isolation, and many other painful realities. Summer camps cannot fix these problems. But for many adolescents, the experience of traditional summer camps might help them see that life is about more than accomplishment, and that is a start.
Conservatives, who sometimes can be seen as wanting to turn the clock much farther back than the last decade, will need to identify ways of applying core principles in ways that avoid falling into sheer revanchism. Old-fashioned liberals who wish to recover a circa 2013 version of the Democratic Party will have to lay out what, exactly, they would change to prevent the same cultural trends from playing out all over again.
Whatever our centuries of godless materialism and scientism have alleged, the cosmos still is enchanted, inasmuch as it was and is being created, even now, by a loving and surpassingly mysterious God. To tell the truth is to admit that this cosmos bears his fingerprints, opening out into blinding wonder and moments of ineffable transcendence.
Here's what our editors are reading this summer.
Education should rehumanize us. In higher education, with the guidance of professors and mentors and elders, we should move through Homer, Newton, Wordsworth, Du Bois, O’Connor, and be transformed by our love for the good, true, and beautiful, into the person we are meant to be.
Israelis celebrate their writers, artists, scientists, jurists, industrialists, and statesmen who fought wars of life and death. And of course there are other ways to serve—caring for the mentally ill, for abandoned children, for the elderly and sick. I am grateful for all of these exemplars. But for me, it will always be specifically the young men and women who go to the army intending to return (many, alas, do not return) to their studies when their missions are done. These people go on to have families, large ones, and jobs of all kinds, and different hobbies and interests and vocations. Their commitments are ordered by a conscious dedication to the Lord of all flesh.
If young people are taught to look at history only through the lenses of power and oppression, they will conclude that power and oppression are everything. Conversely, let them be introduced first to the genuinely great historical deeds, philosophical ideas, literary creations, and works of art of which humans have been capable. Then they will discover the ideals that moved our predecessors.
The attraction of subjecting oneself to ideological thought, then, is a new form of something very old: the desire to escape the limitations and uncertainties of the human condition of knowledge and action by availing ourselves of a greater-than-human power.
David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed appropriately decries the antebellum American South’s practice of slavery, while acknowledging the South’s production of Americans who have also served the cause of freedom and truth.
If short stories are the wardrobe through which young people can pass into a world where they learn to appreciate novels as well, then the demise of magazine fiction is truly unfortunate. Let those teachers assign lots of classic short fiction. The taste of the young is developed in small helpings.
Constant supervision thwarts a child’s ability to develop important qualities such as resourcefulness, self-awareness, and perseverance. But independence with a strong inner compass, a compass that is oriented toward the safety and trustworthiness of healthy family relationships, helps children eventually carry that attached compass away from home and eventually calibrate it for themselves.
A review of The Bible and Poetry by Michael Edwards (translated by Stephen E. Lewis, Jr.)
So, why should a Christian study the humanities? Because it’s what God made us to do. Because by doing so we do participate in God’s knowing of the world and can thereby come to understand him. Because by study we can better understand scripture and our experience of God. Because it lets us enjoy non-Christian beauty and truth in the light of Christ. Because it can be a means of spiritual growth and shape our experience of the world. And because it can move us to praise God who is the Truth itself.
If we are to feel at one with the structures in which we labor and dwell, if they are to endorse our existence here on earth, beauty must take precedence over all other factors. Without it, the battle for the soul of civilization cannot be won.   
Understanding homemaking as a craft that produces beautiful (if intangible) results should hopefully encourage young men and women who are thinking about caring for a home and/or children. For the young mother or father overwhelmed by all there is to do and feeling incompetent in the face of the multiple—often conflicting—demands of house and children, it may help to know that homemaking is a skill to be developed over time.
Recovering art as a participation in God’s governance, and as co-creating with God, is crucial to the healthy formation of young people, our places of worship, and our everyday lives. 
By disclosing the folly of our modern worship of the inarticulable Golden Calf, AI could put us on the path to becoming again a rational, serious people, a people of the word. Stranger felix culpas have happened.
The protests are not simply about Gaza, but concern incompatible ways of life and value. They are another moment in the long rejection of Western metaphysics, anthropology, ethics, and epistemology by Westerners coming of age in a culture that teaches them to despise their own civilization.
As Americans prepare to mark the 250th anniversary of the nation’s birth, in 2026, some argue there’s more to criticize than celebrate. Guelzo's latest book provides ample evidence of what Lincoln found worth celebrating about the American experiment, and what Guelzo finds worth celebrating about Lincoln.

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