Anchors Aweigh!

Since we launched our podcast, Anchored, in the late summer of 2020, we’ve had over a hundred delightful, invigorating conversations. Our founder Jeremy Tate has sat down with teachers, authors, activists, school founders, and many more, to get their thoughts on questions of educational and cultural renewal in America and around the world.

One of our favorite tidbits, which we usually close with, is a question for our guests about what favorite books they recommend (that is, when we can keep up with their suggestions, which was a challenge when we interviewed Dr. Cornel West!). Last week, we talked to Dr. Andrew Seeley, one of the founders of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, and Elizabeth Sullivan, its current Executive Director. Their recommendations included:

  • Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education by Stratford Caldecott (2009). This volume offers a Christian perspective on learning that articulates the humane unity of reason with faith that underlies all disciplines.
  • The Crisis of Western Education by Christopher Dawson (1961). Written by an eminent English Catholic historian, this examines the effects of political and economic priorities that Dawson believed tend to work against the spiritual needs of our society, and how to intelligently counteract those things in and by liberal education.
  • The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB (2005). Originally delivered as an address at the Catholic University of America, this draws on several major documents released by the Congregation for Catholic Education under the last five pontificates, expressing the essential qualities of a robustly Catholic, Christ-centered education.
  • From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age by Msgr. James Patrick Shea (2020). The author discusses the “New Evangelization” and the tactics that are appropriate to it, pointing out that in a rapidly changing civilization it is of the utmost importance not to “fight yesterday’s war.”

Our new Director of Catholic School Partnerships, Chelsea Niemiec, also had a chance to talk with Kimberly Begg, the Director of Programs and General Counsel for the Ortner Family Foundation. In addition to the full Jane Austen corpus, Mrs. Begg recommended the following:

  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905). Written for children, this is the story of a young girl who must struggle against sudden family tragedy and cruel, unfeeling authorities to maintain her goodness, imagination, and hope.
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869). An operatic novel set against the backdrop of Napoleon’s invasion of the Russian Empire in the early nineteenth century, this famed work is a study of romance, grief, religion, despair, and compassion.

We hope readers of the Journal are as happy to get these recommendations as we are! We’ll be keeping you up to date as our little metaphorical library keeps expanding.

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.

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