Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dale Ahlquist on My Alma Mater

We're thoroughly enjoying the latest installment of Gilbert Magazine, which just arrived in the mail today. I particularly enjoyed this tidbit about Thomas Aquinas College , though it's perhaps not quite as funny as the cartoon about Sean Dailey and Harry Potter(Dale - I'm totally with you on this - I'd love to see Chesterton on the reading list!):

Not far away, in Santa Paula, is Thomas Aquinas College, which is probably the best college in the United States that doesn't teach Chesterton. They claim to teach the Great Books, which according to them do not include any books by G.K. Chesterton. I took the opportunity to chastise them for this omission, and vowed that before I die this deficiency in their curriculum will be corrected. Using the Socratic method, the goal at Thomas Aquinas College is to guide students to the truth, by exposing them to great ideas and getting them to think for themselves. After I gave a talk to a very enthusiastic audience, one student came up to me and said: "Of course they can't teach Chesterton here! It would be like cheating! He has all the answers!" Nestled in the mountains, the remote campus is peaceful and lovely, and a magnificent chapel is almost completed. The whole place begets deep thought and meditation. They are definitely doing their bit to preserve the culture by nurturing it in a perfect and protected setting.
And speaking of Dale Ahlquist, I'm currently reading The Order of Things by Fr. Schall (Ignatius Press) for which Dale has the most perfect description on the back cover:
"Here is a book about everything, the subject which just happens to be the most neglected in our narrow-minded, short-sighted world. Fr. Schall takes on heaven and hell and everything in between. And his clear-thinking sparkles in his clear-writing. A painless and praiseworthy way to sweep out any confusion and muddled ideas that may be lurking in your head."
It's a really wonderful book and I couldn't think of a better description for it.

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