Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs is an author, lecturer, and teacher of classical literature at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of How To Be Unlucky, Something They Will Not Forget, and Blasphemers. His wife is generous and his children are funny.

Joshua Gibbs Apr 2, 2019

There is no greater evidence of the Enlightenment’s influence on Christianity than this: Christian students do not like to pray and Christian teachers are not terribly interested in figuring out why.

For this tragedy, the list of guilty parties is too long to name.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 26, 2019

Any merit this article possesses is borrowed, as usual, from the singular genius of Remi Brague. Any faults are my own.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 26, 2019

The average student encounters the school honor code once a year. During the first week of school the honor code is read publicly, or else paper copies are circulated and every student must indicate they have read it. For most students, the honor code is not encountered again for the remainder of the year. This is simply because the honor code is not important. It is a technical necessity.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 22, 2019

I come to you as a former devotee of popular culture.  

In days of old, I worshipped love at the Top 40 altar and committed myself to memorizing lines of songs and dialogue from films in the same way pious Jews of old memorized Scripture. If I now speak cynically of popular culture, it is because I am a disillusioned lover. Cynicism always grows from the ashes of immolated confidence.

With such a purple introduction now out of the way, I should say I believe popular culture has lately taken a sharp turn toward the Satanic.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 15, 2019

Classicists do not believe a Golden Age is nestled somewhere in the past. Classicists are not trying to revive a Golden Age, and neither do classicists aim to bring some Golden Age about in the future. Neither classicism nor conservatism has any interest or belief in a Golden Age.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 11, 2019

The classical tradition has much to say about the quest for self-knowledge. Nonetheless, I often hear classicists treat the self-knowledge offered by personality tests as an important and reliable development in the Western quest for self-knowledge. I cannot but resist. Few modern intellectual “disciplines” seem as flimsy, faddish, and prone to flattery as the current intrigue with categorizing personalities. That we might all disabuse ourselves of personality tests (and the shallow conception of personality which attends them), I offer the following seven theses:   

Joshua Gibbs Mar 5, 2019

The thought of sending my daughters off to college does not excite me, as it has been many years now since I last heard an encouraging news story come out of an American college campus. I do not doubt that good colleges yet exist, although the question of whether I can afford them is another matter. And I am sure that good professors may be found on every college campus in the country, though I am not persuaded that three fine literature teachers can justify a hundred thousand dollars of student loan debt. Nonetheless, beyond high school, my daughters will need something more.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 3, 2019

Last Friday, I nearly burned the place down. During my lunch break, I started a pot roast simmering in wine and diced onions, and when I walked back in the door two hours later, the smoke alarm was blaring and the apartment was thick with smoke. My wife and I spent the following day cleaning every inch of our little home. Every blanket, every towel, and pillow case was laundered, and several armloads of clothes were taken to the dry cleaners. We set out bowls of vinegar, bowls of baking soda, and bowls of aromatic oils. We have a professional cleaner scheduled for later this week.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 24, 2019

Student: In class, you talk a lot about the temptations which come with college. How did you do in college?

Gibbs: Badly. If I had it to do over again, I would do college very differently.

Student: Occasionally I hear about graduates from this school going off the rails in college.

Gibbs: So do I.

Student: Why do you think some students go off the rails and others don’t?

Joshua Gibbs Feb 19, 2019

Few maxims are likely to excite the concern of a classicist quite like, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The claim rings with the kind of subjectivity that eschews the transcendent and easily slips into radical relativism.