Podcast 11/22: Ask Andrew

Nov 22, 2011
In this edition of the Podcast, CiRCE President Andrew Kern discusses why the study of Latin and Greek (and even Hebrew) is an important part of the search for wisdom. He answers the questions, "do we really need to study Latin to cultivate wisdom and virtue when we have the Scriptures?" and "if Latin truly promotes wisdom and virtue, then why wasn't Rome full of virtuous people?".  And much more... Podcast 11/22 - Ask Andrew
David Kern

David Kern

David is director of our multimedia initiatives (podcast host, web-content manager, magazine editor, etc). He often writes about film, television, books, and other culture-related topics, and has been published by Christ and Pop Culture, Think Christian, Relevant, and elsewhere.  David and his wife, Bethany, have three young boys and they live in Concord, NC. 

Loved this podcast -- so encouraging. I appreciated you mentioning French; it's the modern language I've chosen for my children to study for the reasons you stated, but lately I've been doubting whether it was good choice -- maybe I should have chosen Spanish instead. Thanks for the encouragament to stick with it.

I have a question about the hierarchy of virtues you mentioned:


I agree with that hierarchy, but I wonder about the starting point. I would agree with St Thomas a Kempis that "the highest cannot stand without the lowest," and I've always loved what John Gould Fletcher wrote in his essay, "Education, Past and Present":

"We feed and clothe and exercise our bodies, for example, in order to be able to do something with our minds. We employ our minds in order to acheive character…. We acheive character, personality, gentlemanliness in order to make our lives an art and to bring our souls into relation with the whole scheme of things, which is the divine nature."

You said that the place to start is with the Spiritual Virtues, and as a Christian of course I do agree with that, but then it sounds like the opposite of the above, which I already said I agree with. I fee like Tevye: "You are right!... You also are right!" Is there a real conflict there? Or are they complementary ideas? Could you interact with all that a bit?

Great podcast, Andrew. The investment of time and energy in Classical Languages is a much neglected part of Classical Education theory today. I think it's like LTOW - we moderns have an emphasis on quick results and flashy knowledge so we don't invest in plantings of slower growth and that excludes Classical Languages and Rhetoric because they do not show fruit quickly.

One technical issue, could you switch to a podcast player which shows the length of the session and shows remaining time.

Hi Debra,

We will actually be posting these podcasts to itunes soon - it just takes some time getting it all set up. That should solve that problem!