10 December, 2009

Sine quibus non

What for lack of a better term I'll call "meta-books" generally fail in my estimation to do justice to their subject. A meta-book is a book about books, just like "meta-history" is a history about doing history. But they do have their place. For anyone interested--not in assuming lock, stock, and barrel what they say, but--in imagining and thinking about liberal education from a confessional Lutheran perspective in modern North America, there are a couple of libri sine quibus non (books without which not). Not all of these are particularly Lutheran, but they make some arguments that we Lutherans either can espouse or that can cause us to think more purposefully about the education we wish to deliver in our institutions of higher education and its philosophical commitments and underpinnings.

I give them, for the record, here:

Augustine, De beata vita (On the Blessed Life).

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy.

Werner Jaeger, Early Christianity and Greek Paideia.

C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man.

Philipp Melanchthon, A Melanchthon Reader. trans. Ralph Keen.

• Philipp Melanchthon, Orations on Philosophy on Philosophy and Education. trans. Christine Salazar. ed. Sachiko Kusukawa.

John Henry Newman, Idea of a University.

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture.

Plato, Symposium.

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