In a recent piece for First Things (“The Impossibility of Secular Society", October 2013), Remi Brague suggests that a purely democratic society is incapable of discerning between government and game. What is a purely democratic society? It is a society which conceives of itself after the fashion of Rousseau. First, there was man, and then man wanted government for the ease it might provide him, and so he created government to serve his own ends.
In this edition of our Words of Wisdom feature we talk with Laura Berquist, author, teacher, and CiRCE conference regular.
What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?
What has Ingeld to do with Christ?
-Alcuin (when catching some monks reading Beowulf)
What has Horace to do with the Psalter? Or Virgil with the Gospel? Or Cicero the Apostle?
The Incarnation calls us to the things of this world. So when we consider the previous quotes about the liberal arts we must begin and end there.
In the great 21st century debate over the liberal arts, an important distinction needs to be made between two forms of liberal arts studies.
On the one hand, there are what I will call the Nihilistic Liberal Arts.
On the other, there are the Classical Liberal Arts.
The words are chosen with care and they matter. I'll try to explain what I mean in coming posts. It will make everybody angry and show how simplistic my thinking is.