Are the Great Books Good for us? Liberal Education and the Christian Tradition

Jan 18, 2020
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Jared OrtizHope College

What are the liberal arts? Is there more than one tradition of humanistic liberal learning, and what's the connection between them the UChicago core curriculum? Professor Jared Ortiz (an undergrad alum of UChicago) hosted a lunchtime conversation about the tradition of liberal education, its reception in Catholic thought, and the question of what an education is for.

Part I of the Winter 2020 Great Books and the Christian Tradition seminar series.


Great Books and the Christian Tradition

From the School of Alexandria and the reading of Scripture in the Monasteries, through the re-formulation of the Liberal Arts in the medieval schools and universities, in the renewal of the tradition that included Petrarch, Erasmus, John Henry Newman, and Ressourcement, the development of the Liberal Arts Tradition has been intertwined with Christian thought. This series highlights the connection between the Liberal Arts and the Christian Intellectual Tradition and aims to recover the humanistic and contemplative spirit of a truly liberal education.

Other seminars in the series include:

II. Achievement and the Christian Life: What is Education For?

III. What is Wrong with Curiosity? Augustine on Curiosity and the Use and the Abuse of the Intellect in the Confessions

IV: Is it Rational to Believe in Miracles? A Discussion of David Hume's Argument Against Believing in Miracles


Jared Ortiz is Associate Professor of Religion at Hope College and Executive Director of the Saint Benedict Institute. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago, an MA from St. John's College, and an MA and PhD from Catholic University of America. Prof. Ortiz works on Latin patristic thought, especially St. Augustine. His current research is in the themes of politics, holiness and disability in Augustine‚Äôs City of God.  He is author of You Made Us for Yourself: Creation in St. Augustine's Confessions (Fortress Press, 2016).