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Dead Greeks

March 8, 2021

A serious deficiency in American higher education can be traced to our isolation from non-English speaking cultures and especially the limits of the American system of “public” education. Catholic parish schools sought to transcend the mediocrity of public schools by requiring the study of Latin and the philosophy of St. Thomas.

Unfortunately, Catholic parish schools, that once were very Orthodox, began to change as Catholic colleges became secular. On top of that, the United States is a Protestant nation–essentially anti-Catholic–and dismissive of all that.

Protestant theologians study Hebrew, Latin and classical Greek but the emphasis in Protestant schools and colleges is on living one’s life according to God’s commandments, the experience of joy in Christ’s Resurrection and the singing of His praise. At “Fundamentalist” colleges the life of the mind and reason is, therefore,  secondary to learning what children ages 6 to 13 are taught in “Sunday School.” The curriculum at “Evangelical” colleges is better, but reason also is secondary to religious belief.

At Yorktown University that I founded in 2000, I attempted over twelve years to recover the philosophic basis of Western culture and civilization and reached out to my colleagues at conservative Protestant and Catholic Colleges offering to work with them to offer Internet-based courses

None accepted and I have often wondered why.

I concluded that the Protestant colleges had cut themselves off from the search for truth visible in ancient Greece.  From their doctrinal perspective, I was not “orthodox” enough, nor grounded in the Bible. The call to study classical philosophy did not resonate with Protestant academic leaders, nor even with the Catholics who wanted to commit themselves to “Social Justice.”

The search for truth of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle was dead.

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