The Disputed Question: Quarterly Questions on Classical Education

What is classical education? Who can benefit from a classical, liberal education? What’s the difference between the Western Tradition, the Liberal Arts Tradition, and classical education? Is the Liberal Arts Tradition still relevant for living in a modern world? Does the Liberal Arts Tradition have a history of being exclusionist and racist? What is the Great Conversation and who is Mortimer Adler? Which books are the Great Books and why are they great? What does a paideia education look like in the 21st century? 

When it comes to the renewal of classical education, we know you have questions and we have them too! Classical Academic Press has invited a host of authors, educators, philosophers, and theologians, from a wide range of backgrounds, to participate in the ages old tradition of disputatio: an academic forum where big ideas can be explained and debated with charity and respect. 

The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas is perhaps one of the most famous examples of disputed questions explored. In that seminal work, Aquinas embarks on intellectual exploration in search of the Truth. By employing practical wisdom, he discovers and reveals the relationship between God and man. Aquinas followed a prescribed process to navigate and govern his reasoning. To navigate the complex theological questions, he began by isolating specific questions, focusing on those issues, acknowledging objections, discovering his own arguments, and arriving at conclusions. Perhaps one of the chief reasons Aquinas’s work has been so successful was due to the fact that he didn’t shy away from tough questions, but always found “some important truth hidden in each objection” (A Shorter Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica Edited and Explained by Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press). 

In an attempt to learn from this great master of debate and wise discourse, we created a new forum here at Classical Academic Press: The Disputed Question: Quarterly Questions on Classical Education. We intend to host conversations which thoughtfully and charitably address the many questions we all have asked related to the renewal of classical education.

Each quarter, we will publish the essays we have gathered in response to a new disputed question. We hope you will enjoy reading while watching these issues and ideas unfold. Most importantly, we hope these essays will contextualize and explain the many and varied interpretations, historic voices and arguments, points of view, and biblical foundations shaping the great conversations and cultural issues of today.

We believe teachers, school leaders, thought leaders, and parents will find these essays helpful as they interpret the complexities of the world we live in and how the renewal of classical education contributes to a right understanding of the issues governing our times.


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