Category Archives: Virtue

Moral Literacy And Character Formation

It is now the case, as it has always been the case, that it is by exposing our children to good character and inviting its imitation that we will help them develop good character for themselves. This means our schools must have what the ancient Greeks would have called an “ethos”—that is, our schools themselves […]

The Vision of the Soul

Women dance and converse together in painting

If we seek to conserve the Western tradition, then what are the principles that constitute it? There is a recognizable tradition of Western civilization in which we all participate, one governed by the concept of beauty. Let us consider six key insights about the nature of the cosmos and of the human person that constitute […]

The Mind of a Gentleman

Man sits in chair

In his book The Idea of a University, John Henry Newman argues that the goal of education in a university should be the cultivation of a “liberal” type of mind. In Latin, liber means a “free man” as opposed to a slave, and the education appropriate for such a man is an education in the […]

Letter from the Editor Winter 2022: Knowing Our Story

Railroad track runs on old photo

In Amor Towles’ new book, The Lincoln Highway, we find eight-year-old Billy Watson in a railroad freight car waiting for his brother to get back. It is the 1950s and Billy and his older brother Emmett are riding the rails east to New York from Nebraska. A man drops into the car. The boy strikes […]

What’s The Power of Love?

What's the Power of Love?

 Only one man in history both lived by the pen and literally died by it, all for the sake of defending the freedom of the city he loved. He came from nothing, but ultimately became the greatest orator of the ancient world. That man was Demosthenes: the champion of Athens’ heritage, and the defender […]

Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education

Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education

In After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre observes that in all classical and heroic societies, “the chief means of moral education is the telling of stories.” In a real sense the heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey were the moral tutors of the Greeks. Likewise Aeneas was the model of heroic piety on which young Romans […]

Reaching for Infinity

Reaching for Infinity

It is the prerogative of the Christian to reach for unreachable things. The Christian teacher seeks to guide others toward a life of virtue. That virtue can be taught, or for that matter, that it cannot be taught, presupposes how our efforts relate to it. What is virtue, then, such that we may strive for […]

Virtue and Discipline in the Arts

Virtue and Discipline in the Arts

Few people recognize engagement in the arts as an intrinsic element of spiritual virtue. To use the words of Pope John Paul II from his “Letter to Artists,” penned in 1999, [T]rue art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, […]

Ethics Without Virtue

Ethics Without Virtue

What do students in our nation’s schools do all day? Most of them are clearly not spending their time reading the classics, learning math, or studying the physical sciences. It is likely that, along with photography workshops, keeping journals, and perhaps learning about computers, students spend part of their day in moral education classes. But […]

Curing the Disease of the Soul

We all want our children to become virtuous, so we naturally shop around for the schools and communities that have the best results. Upon inspection, however, we find that the graduating classes at even the best schools are not infallibly filled with saints. Parents eventually complain. Teachers complain too. “Perhaps we should include more hard […]