Learning with the Great Books

In his well-known classic, How to Read a Book, scholar and educator Mortimer Adler advocates an education based upon "The Great Books."  They are those Classics that have helped to shape Western Civilization, and which have stood the test of time.  There are many lists available and no single 'canon' (as you get with the 27 books of the New Testament); nevertheless there are plenty of books that are included among The Great Books by nearly universal consensus (works like The Bible, or Plato's Republic, or Shakespeare's Hamlet would make virtually every list).

As a general rule I tend to be reading - at any given time - a work of fiction, a work of non-fiction, and a work of Spirituality/Theology.  I have recently pledged to myself, for the sake of my own intellectual enrichment, to always be reading from something on the list Great Books (check out THIS LIST), in addition to whatever more popular or recent books I may also be reading.  Education should never stop just because formal schooling has ended.  Below is a great video discussing the value of the Great Books:


And here is another video from Mr. Callihan discussing a phrase coined by C.S. Lewis: "Old Western Culture" (which has nothing to do with the "old west" of American cowboys).  What does "Old Western Culture" mean?
This is a great little discussion about the importance of being conversant with our own cultural heritage (a wonderful heritage that is part of us and how we think, despite being neglected by some academics and leaders in the US in recent generations):

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