To educate students, teachers, and lifelong learners in the purpose and power of the liberal arts and liberal education.
- Article on the nature of grammar
- Quotations on the purpose of grammar
- Etymologies of important words in grammar
- Coursebook on logic
- Quotations on the purpose of logic
- Etymologies of important words in logic
- Introductory Coursebook on rhetoric
- Advanced Coursebook on rhetoric
- Teaching Tools: How to do a classical rhetorical analysis
- Quotations on the nature of rhetoric
- Coursebook on arithmetic
- Quotations on the Purpose of arithmetic
- Etymology of important words in arithmetic
- Coursebook on geometry
- Quotations on the purpose of geometry
- Etymologies of important words in geometry
- Quotations on the nature of music
- Etymologies of important words in music
- Introductory Coursebook on astronomy
- Advanced Coursebook on astronomy
- Quotations on the nature of astronomy
Explore our curriculum founded on a proper understanding of the human person and aimed at natural and supernatural flourishing.
Discover more about the interrelationships between the arts and sciences.
Read about our plan for moral growth based on the dominant developing powers and appetites for each age group.
“The sparks that kindled the fire in me:” Reading, Love and Conversion in Augustine’s Confessions and Dante’s Commedia
Augustine’s narrative forms a master pattern for the Commedia, mapping the progression in Dante pilgrim from education through a flawed text, which limited and even malformed him as a reader, author, and lover, to reformation through the transformative and holy words of Beatrice. Within this perspective, the Commedia itself becomes a testament to the power of divine, “reformative” speech to convert the soul, reform its loves, and make it an agent of further transformation.
What Shakespeare finally understands is that in the ethical moment of disposing means to end, the rhetor is only imperfectly in command of a fallen world, and if this limitation can lead a woman of Portia’s moral and intellectual virtue to error in her sacrificing a tragic usurer to secure comic marriages, we ought not be overly confident in either the virtue of our own rhetoric or the exactitude of our own generic terms.
By developing his readers’ moral and political acumen in his account of the wars with Catiline and Jugurtha, Sallust hopes to educate a new generation of leaders capable of preventing such wars in the future. For Sallust, peace is the primary goal of government, and thus the main goal of his education as well.
In effect, we encounter two Augustines. First, there is the Augustine narrated, the boy and young man whose actions and thoughts and feelings are brought forth out of memory. Second, there is Augustine who is the mature, teaching bishop writing his confessiones and situating the biographical parts within the larger “speech act” of the whole of his work. It is the overarching intent of the text as a whole that carries implications for understanding the meaning and practice of education.
Quite independent of political theory, his thoughts on education, whether reflected in or drawn from his own educational experience, appear to be worth gathering and exploring in the light of our own need for models or for the elements that would allow us to construct principles and directions for models appropriate for our time. Cicero is, in many respects, a model as well as a conveyor of models.
What place should the study of mathematics have in classical education? Most classical schools rightly emphasize the linguistic arts of the trivium—grammar, logic, and rhetoric—but few have thought through (much less implemented) the mathematical arts of the quadrivium—arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy—in a meaningful way.
Why engage in Socratic conversation? Certainly, one seeks through Socratic conversation to encounter truth, goodness, and beauty. Beyond this encounter, however, effective Socratic conversation also brings about changes in the souls of those who practice it. Among its other advantages, engaging in Socratic conversation is an excellent way to encourage the cultivation of what may be called “dialogical virtues.”
Put in simplest terms, classical education is an education for freedom. That is why for most of the Western tradition from its origins to the present day, the majority of authors have used the term liberal education to denote what is often called classical education in our time. In this brief article, when I use the term liberal education I do not intend to make a distinction between it and classical education. Instead, I employ the term in order to bring to light the essential nature of what commonly goes by the name classical education among K-12 educators in the United States today.
The mission of Arts of Liberty is to educate students, teachers, and lifelong learners in the purpose and power of the liberal arts and liberal education. To accomplish this mission, we offer a variety of online, interdisciplinary resources intended to form and to foster a knowledge and a love of the liberal arts and liberal education.
It is a little known secret—though it should be no secret at all—that classical education has been making a comeback of late. In some circles, classical education needed no revival, for its life was never really in danger; for instance, at the undergraduate level, schools like St. John’s College, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Dallas have quietly continued, to greater or lesser degrees, to carry the torch of classical learning. The revival I speak of began in the 1980s, and it has been taking place chiefly at the primary and secondary levels.
The following comments propose to clarify the nature of grammar as an art, a speculative and liberal art. First I distinguish grammar from other arts concerned with speech with particular attention to the difference between grammar and logic. Then I show that while grammar is an art, it is a ‘speculative art.’ (Here I show how this art is ‘speculative’ as a whole, and can yet be divided into parts that are ‘speculative’ and ‘practical’ in several ways.) Finally, I discuss the respect in which it is entitled ‘liberal.’
The Oresteia develops upon three levels: the theological, the political, and the ethical. The theological development moves from divisiveness among the gods to the consolidation of the rule of Zeus; the political development moves from Troy to Argos to Athens; and the ethical development moves from will without restraint, to will subject to responsibility, to self-rule fully responsible to religious, familial, and political obligations.
Augustine himself vigorously put his own education in the service of his Catholic faith, despoiling as much pagan wisdom as he could and conducting himself on the global stage with an eye to his heavenly audience and destination. One of the greatest examples of a Christian use of the liberal arts in the theater of life before this great globe dissolves at the end of time may therefore be the very life and writings of Augustine.
Classical Education Graduate Program at the University of Dallas
By providing foundations in classical principles and pedagogy, the Classical Education Graduate Program aspires to form educators as master teachers. Students in the program explore the historical, philosophic, literary, aesthetic, rhetorical, and scientific roots of the liberal arts in the Western tradition. With a dedicated faculty and staff drawing on extensive experience in the academy and the classical classroom, and assisted by UD's world-class undergraduate faculty, the Classical Education Graduate Program combines the ethos of the University's core curriculum tradition with a concentration on the theory and practice of classical education, bringing these to working and aspiring classical school teachers, school administrators, and others both locally and around the country.