Over the past year, I have studied, written about, and found inspiration in The Consolation of Philosophy. One of the great dialogues of ancient times, it was written by Boethius, a Roman consul, senator, philosopher, and theologian, during his imprisonment on charges of treason.
The beginning of the work finds a fictional version of Boethius wallowing in sorrow because, forgetting the lessons he had learned from his youthful devotion to the study of philosophy, he feels overwhelmed at the thought of how God had let unjust and wicked men succeed in their plots against him. In the midst of his self-pity, Philosophy appears to him as a Lady, who tries to console him by recalling how she had strengthened her devotees to not only endure unjust suffering, but to laugh at their enemies while doing so.
I have been fortunate in that I have not suffered injustice because of my service to Philosophy. Like many of you, however, I suffer discouragement from time to time as I join in the struggle to bring wisdom back to the world of education. The forces of folly can seem so powerful. Being reminded of philosophical heroes like Socrates and Seneca is encouraging, as is the hope that Philosophy brings by proclaiming the rewards of a life devoted to wisdom.
We are already beginning to taste those rewards through the growing Fellowship of the Boethius Institute for the Advancement of Liberal Education, as I detail here. One of our Fellows, Paul Boyer, is a contemporary Boethian - a former State Senator currently running for mayor of Glendale, Arizona, who is struck by irony that the mastermind of realpolitik, Macchiavelli, was a real life political failure.
If you want to find out more about our very busy summer and early fall, take a look at our Events calendar. I hope that we will be able to report more encouraging news in the coming months.