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.More info →
Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education
A reissue of a classic text, Norms and Nobility is a provocative reappraisal of classical education that offers a workable program for contemporary school reform. David Hicks contends that the classical tradition promotes a spirit of inquiry that is concerned with the development of style and conscience, which makes it an effective and meaningful form of education. Dismissing notions that classical education is elitist and irrelevant, Hicks argues that the classical tradition can meet the needs of our increasingly technological society as well as serve as a feasible model for mass education.More info →
The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection
The Ancient Mediterranean
Written by eminent classical scholar Michael Grant. The Ancient Mediterranean is a wonderfully revealing, unusually comprehensive history of all the peoples who lived around the Mediterranean from about 15,000 B.C. to the time of Constantine (306-337 A.D.). Many volumes, including Professor Grant's own previous works, trace the histories of the great civilizations of Greece and Rome. But this unique work looks at the influences and cultures of the entire region, including Egypt, Israel, Crete, Carthage, Ionia and the Eastern colonies. Syria, and the Etruscans, as well as the Greek and Roman states.
Drawing on archaeology, geography, anthropology, and economics. Professor Grant shows how the great Oriental civilizations—Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia—originated attitudes and institutions ultimately passed on to the West. He describes the effect on the people and their achievements of the long, irregular coastline, the mountainous terrain surrounding small fertile plains, the typical plant life of olive and grape, and the rapidly changing weather. Further, he investigates how the demographic factors around this deep and stormy sea caused or influenced the great periods of ancient history, such as that of fifth-century Athens and of Rome in the first century A.D. Appealing and fascinating reading, this impeccably researched history brings a fresh perspective to understanding our ancient heritage.More info →
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
The Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas' brilliant synthesis of Christian thought, has had a decisive and permanent impact on philosophy and religion since the thirteenth century. As the title indicates, is a summing up of all that can be known about God and humanity's relations with God. Divided into three parts, the work consists of 38 tracts, 631 questions, about 3000 articles, 10,000 objections and their answers. This complete edition of the work, published in five volumes, was translated into English by the Fathers of the Dominican Province and first appeared in 1911. A revised edition was published in London in 1920, and in America in 1947. The Christian Classics edition is a reproduction of the 1947 Benziger Brothers edition.More info →
Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.
Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.More info →
Early Christianity and Greek Paidea
This small book, the last work of a world-renowned scholar, has established itself as a classic. It provides a superb overview of the vast historical process by which Christianity was Hellenized and Hellenic civilization became Christianized.
Werner Jaeger shows that without the large postclassical expansion of Greek culture the rise of a Christian world religion would have been impossible. He explains why the Hellenization of Christianity was necessary in apostolic and post-apostalic times; points out similarities between Greek philosophy and Christian belief; discuss such key figures as Clement, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa; and touches on the controversies that led to the ultimate complex synthesis of Greek and Christian thought.More info →