The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-09-01
  • Publisher: Isi Books
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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. In an unbroken chain of giving and receiving, the Great Tradition embraced the accumulated wisdom of the past and understood education as the initiation of students into a body of truth. This unique collection is designed to help parents, students, and teachers reconnect with this noble legacy, to articulate a coherent defense of the liberal arts tradition, and to do battle with the modern utilitarians and vocationalists who dominate educational theory and practice.

Author Biography

Richard M. Gamble is the Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Professor of History and Political Science and Associate Professor of History at Hillsdale College. He formerly taught in the Honors Program at Palm Beach Atlantic University and is the author of The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation (ISI Books, 2003).

Table of Contents

from the Republicp. 4
from the Lawsp. 16
from the Memorabiliap. 30
from Against the Sophistsp. 40
from the Panathenaicusp. 43
from the Antidosisp. 44
from the Nicomachean Ethicsp. 56
from the Politicsp. 59
from Pro Archia Poetap. 68
from De Oratorep. 70
from The Oratorp. 79
from De Partitione Oratoriap. 82
from De Officiisp. 83
from The Ten Books on Architecturep. 87
from "On Anger"p. 92
from "On the Private Life"p. 94
"On Liberal and Vocational Studies"p. 98
from the Institutesp. 107
from A Dialogue on Oratoryp. 129
from "On Bringing up a Boy"p. 134
"On the Student at Lectures"p. 142
from On the Special Lawsp. 155
from On Mating with the Preliminary Studiesp. 156
from On the Life of Mosesp. 159
Clement of Alexandria
from Christ the Educatorp. 164
from the Stromateisp. 169
A Letter from Origen to Gregory, Bishop of Caesareap. 177
Gregory Thaumaturgus, "Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen"p. 179
Basil the Great
"To Young Men, on How They Might Derive Profit from Pagan Literature"p. 182
Gregory Nazianzen, "Funeral Oration on the Great St. Basil"p. 188
John Chrysostom
from the "Address on Vainglory and the Right Way for Parents to Bring Up Their Children"p. 192
Letter to Eustochiump. 207
Letter to Magnus, an Orator of Romep. 208
Letter to Laetap. 211
from the Confessionsp. 214
from On Christian Doctrinep. 224
from Institutions of Divine and Secular Learningp. 229
Gregory the Great
from Homilies on the Book of Ezekielp. 238
from Charlemagne's "Capitulary of 787"p. 244
Alcuin on St. Peter's School, York, 732-86p. 245
Lettersp. 247
Rhabanus Maurus
"Education of the Clergy"p. 250
Hugh of St. Victor
from the Didascaliconp. 256
John of Salisbury
from the Policraticusp. 268
from the Metalogiconp. 281
Thomas Aquinas
Letter to Brother Johnp. 287
from On the Teacherp. 288
from The Journey of the Mind to Godp. 300
Lettersp. 304
Pier Paolo Vergerio
from The Character and Studies Befitting a Free-Born Youthp. 313
Christine De Pizan
from The Book of the Body Politicp. 325
Leonardo Bruni
On the Study of Literaturep. 333
Aeneas Silvius
from The Education of Boysp. 343
from The Antibarbariansp. 354
from On Education for Childrenp. 360
from The Education of a Christian Princep. 364
Martin Luther
from To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germanyp. 372
Ulrich Zwingli
Of the Upbringing and Education of Youth in Good Manners and Christian Disciplinep. 383
Juan Luis Vives
from The Transmission of Knowledgep. 394
Thomas Elyot
from The Book Named the Governorp. 408
Philip Melanchthon
"Preface to Homer"p. 420
Johann Sturm
from The Latin Letters of Roger Ascham and Johann Sturmp. 433
John Calvin
from Institutes of the Christian Religionp. 442
Commentary on Titus 1:12p. 446
Roger Ascham
from The Schoolmasterp. 448
The Society of Jesus
from Ratio Studio rump. 459
John Milton
from Of Educationp. 468
Giambattista Vico
"On the Proper Order of Studies"p. 477
from On the Study Methods of Our Timep. 485
The Academies and the Relation between Philosophy and Eloquencep. 488
Edmund Burke
from Letter to a Member of the National Assemblyp. 492
Edward Copleston
from "Reply to the Calumnies of the Edinburgh Review Against Oxford, Containing an Account of Studies Pursued in That University"p. 499
Thomas Arnold
from "Rugby School-Use ofthe Classics"p. 515
John Henry Newman
"Discourse V;" from The Idea of a Universityp. 522
"Christianity and Letters," from The Idea of a Universityp. 533
Irving Babbitt
from Literature and the American Collegep. 540
Paul Elmer More
"Academic Leadership"p. 561
A. G. Sertillanges
from The Intellectual Lifep. 573
Albert Jay Nock
from The Theory of Education in the United Statesp. 580
Simon Weil
"Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God"p. 589
C. S. Lewis
"On the Reading of Old Books"p. 596
Dorothy Sayers
"The Lost Tools of Learning"p. 602
T. S. Eliot
from Notes Towards a Definition of Culturep. 617
Christopher Dawson
from The Crisis of Western Educationp. 627
Michael Oakeshott
"Learning and Teaching"p. 636
Eric Voegelin
"On Classical Studies"p. 652
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