Brian Phillips

Dr. Brian Phillips is the Director of CiRCE Consulting & the Headmaster of the CiRCE Academy.  He also serves as a pastor in Concord, NC, where he lives with his wife and their four children.

Brian Phillips Jan 31, 2014

Stars & Resurrection

“This fell at the first widening of the dawn
as the sun was climbing Aries with those stars
that rode with him to light the new creation.” (Canto I.37-39)

Brian Phillips Jan 22, 2014

Recently, I began teaching The Inferno, the first and best known part of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, for the first time in several years.  Sadly, I had forgotten much of its beauty and power.  To ensure that my current encounter sticks a bit longer, I have decided to blog my way through hell, drawing attention to the lingering questions, connections, and struggles of the journey.  Perhaps we will learn something. 

“Therefore, for your own good, I think it well you follow me…” (Canto I.105-106)

Brian Phillips Jan 17, 2014

“I am in a season of my life right now where I feel bone tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted … I have three boys ages 5 and under. I’m not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter & chaos.”

Steve Wiens, in his article “To Parents of Small Children”

Brian Phillips Jan 9, 2014

“Some parents and educators have the misconception that classical education is only for ‘smart kids.’” 

These are the opening words from Cheryl Swope’s recently published book Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child, in which she tells the story of classically teaching her daughter, Michelle who was diagnosed with both autism and schizophrenia, among other disabilities, early in life. 

Brian Phillips Dec 12, 2013

“Children are souls to be nurtured not products to be measured.” - Andrew Kern

Brian Phillips Dec 5, 2013

Reposting in honor of tommorow's feast of St. Nicholas!

Santa Claus stands as a centerpiece of the Christmas season and though the feast of Saint Nicholas lasts but one day (December 6th), the Santa frenzy will continue through the holidays.  Children around the world will find it hard to sleep, anxiously waiting for him to swoop down the chimney, leaving presents under the tree.  But, where did the idea of gifts from jolly ole Saint Nick come from?  The tradition stems from an event that vividly displays the “gentler side” of Saint Nicholas.

Brian Phillips Nov 23, 2013

The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia series, tells of Prince Cor's return to Archenland.  The long lost prince began his nostos in Tashbaan, proceeded through the desert, and finally arrived in Anvard, the Archenland capital.  But, much like Odysseus, the celebration of Cor's return is delayed by fierce battle against enemies who threaten his home and kingdom.  

Brian Phillips Nov 21, 2013

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

Brian Phillips Nov 14, 2013

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was arguably the most influential Christian thinker of his time, and his thought has long outlasted him.  It would be difficult indeed to find someone who has had more influence than Lewis on the modern classical education renewal.  From his great works of fiction (The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, and The Screwtape Letters) to his books on Christianity and education (Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man, to name a couple), Lewis has had a long reach.

Brian Phillips Nov 14, 2013

Owen Strachan recently made some interesting observations about the relationship between classical education and freedom.  And, while the original post seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties, Dr. Gene Edward Veith has reposted it for us on his own blog, Cranach.  Thanks to you both, gentlemen!

By Owen Strachan, originally in The American Spectator: