A Return to Wisdom

Susannah Black
Susannah Black received her BA from Amherst College and her MA from Boston University. She is an editor at Mere Orthodoxy, Plough Quarterly, Postliberal Thought and its journal New Polity, and The Davenant Press. Previously, she was an editor at Providence and Fare Forward. She's a co-founder of Solidarity Hall and The Simone Weil Center, and is on the boards of the Distributist Review, The Davenant Institute, and The Simone Weil Center. Her writing has appeared in First Things, The Distributist Review, Solidarity Hall, Providence, Amherst Magazine, Front Porch Republic, Ethika Politika, The Human Life Review, The American Conservative, Mere Orthodoxy, Fare Forward, Postliberal Thought, and elsewhere. She blogs at Radio Free Thulcandra and tweets at @suzania. A native Manhattanite, she is now living in Queens.

Dear Friends,

When you love learning, there are things you remember: the first time you became consumingly curious, the first time you wondered and tried to find out. You probably remember a teacher, too, who seemed to know things that you didn’t, who had the skill to blaze a trail for you, but not so obviously that you didn’t have to diligently hunt out the path yourself and walk it.

You remember wrestling with a text, peeling back its layers, trying to find what the inmost heart was. You remember realizing, as you read, that you could follow the author’s mind; then, on second or third reading, you realized what he himself must have been reading just before he wrote.

You remember the sense of being let in to a building: somewhere beautiful, full of the weight of years; a place where culture and nature seemed to be united, where everything was connected, where every object had a story, an implication.

You remember the feeling that everything was a palimpsest.

In his indictment of contemporary credentialist education, Joseph Keegin calls for a return to that kind of humanistic learning—wherever it can be found. And he makes a surprising recommendation for where it might best be nurtured. Read his “Toward the Renewal of Humanistic Education in America” here.

And then . . . keep reading.


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