I know that it is not very much in vogue, especially in the halls of “higher” education these days, but an email that floated around work today made me ponder about what we often term classical education.
Unlike many, I was fortunate to go to a college that still thought it was important to read at least some of the giants of the classical era. Of course, some of that may have been part of the majors that I chose (political science and history, with an almost-minor in philosophy), but I also think that many of my classmates were exposed to at least some of the fundamental works of the classical era.
So my question is, in this age of cultural relativism and multiculturalism, is the classical education dead? Is it even worth pursuing anymore? I think that there is great value in having a classical education, but obviously I seem to be in a minority. I think a larger question is why isn’t a classical education still something to be strived for at our colleges and universities? Of course, that is probably a topic for another post.
One of the things that is painfully obvious to me is that if I desire for my son to have a semblance of a classical education, it is going to depend pretty much on my wife and I. So, here’s your homework assignment. If you had to name the top 100 classical works, what would some of them be? Obviously, this can cover the gamut from philosophy to history to literature to theology. Post a comment back with some of your picks, and if I get enough, I will start a page listing them…in case anyone else is interested.