The Arts of Liberty Bulletin

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From the Director

Dear Reader,

Easter weekend has definitively proclaimed the arrival of Spring, at least in northern Iowa on the border of Minnesota. Two weeks ago, though Canadian geese filling the sky and fat robins returning to their territories spoke of spring as imminent, the deep snow cover made it hard to believe in new life. Trees produced buds in vain. But Nature is wise. Read More

Only the Lover Sings: The Secret to Teaching Literature

by Lisa VanDamme

I have spent my twenty-five years as a teacher further and further refining my purpose, to its present obsessive focus. My animating ambition, the one I live, sleep, and breathe, is to help people learn to love – to love – great literature. Read More

On the Liberal Arts in Response to an Article in Principia

As we mentioned in our last bulletin, a group of classical educators and scholars has launched Principia, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to advancing scholarship on classical education. As Brian Williams, General Editor, reports in his article introducing the journal, forty years of education renewal has spawned a growing body of scholarly research and writing. Read More

MacDonald on Effect of Science on an Adolescent

In “A Sketch of Individual Development” (1880), George MacDonald, best known for his works of fantasy such as A Princess and Curdie and Lilith, describes an imaginary boy coming to full consciousness, from infancy into adulthood. In this excerpt, he reflects on the impact that a serious encounter with science in late high school or college might have on the development of mind and heart. Read More

Events of Interest

Walk the Camino with the University of Navarre (June 19-30, throughout Spain) - A summer youth program covering a wide range of interests: from the origins of The Camino to Spanish language and culture. High school sophomores and juniors can immerse themselves for 2 weeks in the Catholic intellectual tradition of the Way of Saint James and discover the oldest pilgrimage trail in Europe.

Recusancy and Revival: The Persecution and Rebirth of Catholicism in Our Lady's Dowry (July 17–27, 2023, Oxford and London) - Experience England’s Catholic roots, delve into the backgrounds of saints and martyrs, and learn more about the revival of Catholicism in England. The program will feature a rich combination of lectures and visits to historic sights. Graduate students of all levels and disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Further Enrichment

"On Hearing Shakespeare" - Brad Miner encourages us to educate ourselves by enjoying Shakespeare and other art.

Tending Roses - Grace Steele, a literature teacher, blogs about cultivating beauty. We especially recommend her recent article "The Modern Lotus-Eaters" and her new Poetry Periodical.

"Literature and the Quest for Meaning" - Lisa Vandamme explores how literature helps us find meaning, which is essential to a happy life.

Arts of Liberty Study Guides - Teachers, students, and lifelong learners alike can deepen their understanding of great works with the aid of dozens of free study guides here. Recent additions include a study guide on Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto and Eric Voegelin’s Science, Politics, and Gnosticism.


Questions, comments, requests, and challenges on any of our material are appreciated. Contact Us

Previous Bulletins

Bulletin Archive

April 2023

  • Only the Lover Sings: The Secret to Teaching Literature
  • On the Liberal Arts in Response to an Article in Principia
  • MacDonald on Effect of Science on an Adolescent

January 2023

  • Interview with the producers of Grammar Revolution, an indie documentary
  • Interview with Shannon Valenzuela, professor of literature and creative fiction writer
  • Miquel Cervantes on creative writing

October 2022

  • Freeing the Mind Through Grammar
  • Grammar and Worship

June 2022

  • The Spirit of Mathematics, on the difference between the classical and modern approaches to the study of mathematics
  • An interview with William Carey, teacher at Ad Fontes Academy

April 2022

  • Preparing the Next Generation for Wisdom: an essay on the study of history
  • An interview with Janice Martinez about her passion for teaching

March 2022 

  • A Dangerous Opinion, on the modern distinction between opinion and fact
  • An interview with Winston Elliott III, the president of the Free Enterprise Institute, founder of "The Imaginative Conservative," and a teacher at Houston Baptist University

January 2022

  • Dr. Seeley’s experience at the Center for Thomas More Studies annual conference
  • An interview with Paul Boyer, an Arizona state senator passionately interested in liberal education