Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

For a Roman emperor and the most powerful man in the world, Marcus Aurelius lived a notably uncomfortable life. Choosing a life of stoicism rather than comfort, Aurelius shirked the luxuries that his high status provided him. He slept in a simple cot with an animal skin rather than a comfortable bed. He worked incessantly,Continue reading “Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations”

Insights from Fulton Sheen’s Way to Happiness

The Venerable Fulton Sheen encouraged generations of the faithful through his radio and television broadcasts in the mid 20th century. The bishop’s words carried a weight unmatched in his popular television program Life Is Worth Living, where he spoke to a live audience without a script, often touching on important contemporary issues like communism andContinue reading “Insights from Fulton Sheen’s Way to Happiness”

A Year of Reading: Books I Read in 2021

As is customary, let’s take a look at the books I read in 2021. My reading heavily favored nonfiction and has begun leaning toward histories. Overall, my time spent reading declined from 2020 as the last year was busier than ever. My reading of the Great Books especially slowed down since I had little timeContinue reading “A Year of Reading: Books I Read in 2021”

Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World

At ThinkingWest we often discuss books that have stood the test of time. These “classics” arose from the tremendous impact of their ideas, masterful command of the language, and storytelling power – not from their physical appearance. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we often hear, but today we are going to do justContinue reading “Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World”

The 12 Book Classical Education

A true classical education is a lifelong pursuit of wisdom and understanding with no demonstrable end. The end of the classical education is played out in real time, in parallel to its pursuit in everyday life. When confronting a claim, one might turn to principles put forth by Aristotle or Bacon to find their veracity;Continue reading “The 12 Book Classical Education”

How I Read the Bible Cover to Cover

A week ago I finished a two year journey of reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. The Bible is a long and difficult book; yet, it is the most widely printed book in history. As any book publisher would know, “long and difficult” is rarely a promising description of a book that will receiveContinue reading “How I Read the Bible Cover to Cover”

What is a Classic Book?

There’s no single answer for what a “classic” book is. For anyone who ventures an answer, many others will disagree and propose their own definitions, such as the 14 various definitions offered in a New York Review article – none of which I agree with. I found most of these “definitions” to be tongue-in-cheek andContinue reading “What is a Classic Book?”

Insights from the Lord of Montaigne on Education

Who better to inquire about education than a famed 16th century nobleman who inscribed excerpts of wisdom on the wooden beams of his library? Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (often called simply “Montaigne”) authored the heavily influential Essays, an outpouring of his natural philosophies, and had much to say on education. The first thing he tellsContinue reading “Insights from the Lord of Montaigne on Education”

Christian Themes and Imagery in C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair

I recently revisited my childhood and cracked open C.S Lewis’s The Silver Chair, the sixth book in his acclaimed Chronicles of Narnia series. As a child the book was a personal favorite of mine – I always appreciated its straightforward adventure plot (boy and girl set out to rescue an enchanted prince from an evilContinue reading “Christian Themes and Imagery in C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair”

Learning History, The Right Way

The typical history class goes like this: “The Peloponnesian War was fought by the Delian league, led by Athens, against the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta, during the years spanning 341 to 404 BC. The Delian League leveraged the sea might of Athens, while the Spartans assaulted primarily by land. Ultimately the war was wonContinue reading “Learning History, The Right Way”