The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being
Frustrated with the continuing educational crisis of our time, concerned parents, teachers, and students sense that true reform requires more than innovative classroom technology, standardized tests, or skills training. An older tradition—the Great Tradition—of education in the West is waiting to be heard. Since antiquity, the Great Tradition has defined education first and foremost as the hard work of rightly ordering the human soul, helping it to love what it ought to love, and helping it to know itself and its maker. In the classical and Christian tradition, the formation of the soul in wisdom, virtue, and eloquence took precedence over all else, including instrumental training aimed at the inculcation of "useful" knowledge.
Edited by historian Richard Gamble, this anthology reconstructs a centuries-long conversation about the goals, conditions, and ultimate value of true education. Spanning more than two millennia, from the ancient Greeks to contemporary writers, it includes substantial excerpts from more than sixty seminal writings on education. Represented here are the wisdom and insight of such figures as Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, Basil, Augustine, Hugh of St. Victor, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Erasmus, Edmund Burke, John Henry Newman, Thomas Arnold, Albert Jay Nock, Dorothy Sayers, C. S. Lewis, and Eric Voegelin.
As mentioned in:
- Episode #1 – Preventing Burnout through Levity – as Mystie’s Scholé RDA pick
- Episode #8 – Making the Most of Summer with Habits and Virtue
- Episode #9 – Finding the Right Scholé for Your Type
- Episode #18 – The Low-Down on Narration
- Episode #21 – Amusing Ourselves to Leisure – as Mystie’s Scholé Everyday pick
- Episode #26 – Education is an Atmosphere
- Episode #27 – Education is a Discipline
- Episode #28 – Education is a Life
- Episode #29 – Educating for Virtue (I’m Not the Holy Spirit)
- Episode #32 – Paideia is All Greek to Me by Mystie Winckler during the Scholé Everyday segment
- Episode #35 – Twaddlicious
- Episode #38 – An Education By Any Other Name …
- Episode #41 – Living Books Are Books For Life
- Episode #42 – Carpe Librum
- Episode #54 – Gainsaying Sayers
- Episode #76 – The Wonder Years (Quintilian and the Classical Preschool)
- Episode #80 – Let’s Get Physical (Gymnastic in a Classical Education)
- Episode #88 – Transitioning Kids to Independent Work – quoting Quintilian
- Episode #96 – Can Virtue Be Taught? – as the episode’s main source of Aristotle, Augustine, and Quintilian
- Episode #98 – Ordo Amoris – as part of the topical discussion
- Episode #103 – Can we be more human?
Want to read this book in community? Inside Sistership, you’ll find a book club reading and discussing The Great Tradition. Just join as a Supporter or Sophie to be a part of the conversation!