Author

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the founder and president of The CiRCE Institute and the co-author of the book, Classical Education: the Movement Sweeping America

Andrew Kern Dec 6, 2014

Picture this:

A great lake is nesting in an alpine valley where it flows calmly through a natural dam into the surrounding world. In the lake is a well-ordered hierarchy of fish and plant life that have found the places and relations where they flourish. 

One day an earthquake destroys the dam and the fish and much of the plant life are violently rushed down the mountainside. 

That is what happened to the Christian classical mind. 

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Andrew Kern Oct 15, 2014

The Iliad, Homer tells us, is about the rage of Achilles and the will of Zeus, and about how these two interact with each other. Quoting Lattimore:

Sing goddess the anger of Peleus son Achilleus
And its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,
Hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls
of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting
of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished...

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Andrew Kern Sep 11, 2014

A response to an article about the "grit narrative" by an Independent School leader:

If I were to write a book about student motivation and teaching approaches, I would call it The Pharisee and the Prodigal. This is why.

I am deeply concerned, and have had this concern renewed while reading chapter 7 in Norms and Nobility for the Apprenticeship, with the need in our self-identified democracy that "the masses" - those despised and used children of the poor especially - need a classical education. Here's Hicks:

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Andrew Kern Sep 8, 2014

The mind rooted in faith operates differently from the mind rooted in doubt.* Doubt, interestingly, comes from the Latin "dubitas," which can as easily be translated "fear." In Elizabethan times, that correlary was not obscure, as you can see when you read, for example, Hamlet. 

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Andrew Kern Aug 27, 2014

This afternoon, I will be participating in a Podcast on Hamlet in which I hope to invite people to read Shakespeare's play and to look for what is obvious. Meanwhile, I'm reading the Iliad for the Apprenticeship and have been thinking quite a bit about how to read and to teach it. 

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Andrew Kern Aug 3, 2014

The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

Sir Edward Grey
August 3, 1914

 

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Andrew Kern Aug 2, 2014

The Bible introduces us to at least nine or eleven (depending on how you look at it) temples, all of which are understood in light of the others. They seem to come in groups of three. 

There is the temple of the uncreated heavens, the eternal temple, which, Revelaton suggestions, is God Himself.

Then there is the temple of the created heavens, which Isaiah describes in Isaiah 60 (heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool).

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Andrew Kern Jul 30, 2014

Consider these words from Eric Hoffer, written in 1951, and responding to what he saw as a dangerous trend from the perspective of a sociologist: 

A sublime religion inevitably generates a strong feeling of guilt. There is unavoidable contrast between loftiness of profession and imperfection of practice. And, as one would expect, the feeling of guilt promotes hate and brazenness. Thus it seems that the more sublime the faith the more virulent the hatred it breeds. 

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Andrew Kern Jul 11, 2014

I've read that people become happier around 50 and I've wondered why. I figure it probably has something to do with time. 

Perhaps people in their later years accept that they cannot escape time, both its raveges and its potentials.

When one is younger, perhaps, he can cling to the delusion that a decision can bring something to an end, that by making some sort of big, dramatic decision, one can attain a stability. 

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Andrew Kern Jul 8, 2014

I'm suffering from an embarrasing problem. It boils down to this: I believe that Christ makes sense of the cosmos and of life, and that without Him life doesn't end up making sense. 

Only, I don't believe this in some heartfelt, sentimental way, as in, "I believe there's a reason for everything that happens," or some such vacuous avoidance of reality that is true but not meaningful in most contexts. I'm not talking about a feeling or a shortcut to consolation.

I believe that in actual fact Christ makes sense of everything. 

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