John Senior

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

James Joyce, John Senior and the Quest for Realism

John Senior is known as a cultural warrior for his books on Christian culture and as a pioneering educator for his role in the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas. As an English professor, his spiritual odyssey took him through the literature of East and West. His doctoral dissertation focused on the role [...]

Why Catholics Needn’t Celebrate New Year’s Day

On Friday, January 1, the secular world will observe “New Year’s Day.” The Catholic world will not, for two reasons. One is that we have a genuine religious feast day to observe, in celebration of Mary, the Mother of God. The second is that Catholics don’t find much use in celebrating the chronological movement from [...]

Paper or Plasma? How Are You Reading This Summer?

Summertime is a favorite time for some favorite reading—but in these times, and in these summers, the issue is not simply, “What is to be read?” but “How is it to be read?” Readers are not only what they read, but also how they read; and civilized readers should not read like boors. Thus, they [...]

Common Core’s Rotten Core

Despite recent defense rallies by Bill Gates, wars are raging against the embattled Common Core State Standard Initiative, now implemented in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Though criticisms can be leveled at the lack of evidence that the Common Core will lead onward into a brave new world of education, the overarching problem [...]

Quality Education is Not Rocket Science

Every week it seems I receive three or four letters from people who are establishing new schools or reforming old ones.  These letters are most encouraging, and all of the writers, without exception, are dedicated to restoring what is called a “classical” education.  Sometimes that implies the study of the true classics, the literature of [...]

Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Role of Beauty in the Restoration of Catholic Culture

When I began my seminary studies, I had only been a Catholic for a few years. I had converted to the Catholic Church during my undergraduate years at the University of Kansas through a course of studies in the Great Books called the Integrated Humanities Program.   When I started seminary, I was still learning the [...]

All Happy Trails Lead West

A lot of good books have come out of the West.  They have been written by men and by women and may be read by girls and by boys.  It is no wonder that so many appear on John Senior’s list of the thousand or so good books that youngsters should read before they get [...]

John Senior: In Piam Memoriam

How the time does pass . . . it was on April 8, 1999—already thirteen years ago—that Professor John Senior returned to our Father’s House. Since then, we have been all the more orphaned and greater has been our yearning for Paradise. By what right should I, a Frenchman, be writing today about this eminent [...]

Hilaire Belloc, Cautionary Tales and Bad Child’s Book of Beasts

I remember the first time I read John Senior's Death of Christian Culture. That it ended with a reading list was, well, something of a surprise. There was everyone you would expect—Dickens and Scott, Austen and Wister—and some I had never met. But what struck me the most were the unknown titles from authors I [...]

Shakespeare Good and Great

Well did John Senior advise parents and teachers to prepare today’s youngsters for great study, with experiences of the good, such as gardening, graceful dancing, and gazing at the stars dancing above, and also making sure to delight in a thousand good books, before getting to the hundred or so great books by the master [...]

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