Devon, PA.  As I announced some months back, Front Porch Republic will return to the University of Notre Dame this week to participate in the Center for Ethics and Culture’s annual fall conference.  We will hold a panel discussion on Saturday afternoon, and  I invite all interested readers to come out to South Bend and join us for the occasion.  I will do my best to ensure there is time and place for drinks and good conversation in the evening (coupled, perhaps, with the second half the the ND V. Maryland game), after the Conference’s conclusion.

The details on the panel are as follows:

Saturday, November 12th.  3:15-4:40

McKenna Hall Auditorium

Session 2: Education in the Mass Age: Why Scale Matters. 

 –Jeffrey Polet, Hope College

[The progressive movement attempted to reconstitute American education along the lines of a secular religion. Central to this project was a transformation of the schools into homogenized institutions of mass instruction in the new religion.]

–Patrick Deneen, Georgetown University

–Peter Koritansky, The University of Prince Edward Island

[The value of a college education has become too closely tied to its economic benefits. The goal of education toward fostering moral and virtuous members of their communities has been completely displaced by narrow utilitarian ends among students and moral relativism among the teachers.]

–Jason Peters, Augustana College

[The distinction between liberal and mechanical arts descends to us from Aristotle and is preserved in two books bearing the title in The Idea of the University. The distinction, though useful and necessary, is problematic when it becomes a division. Addressing the division is a vital task in the mass age.]

Universal Uniformity

–James Matthew Wilson, Villanova University

[Schools should arrange their curricula to lead to the formation of varied ideas of a good human character more particular than a vague commitment to “critical thinking.” This will involve schools forming diverse characters rather than merely preaching diversity.]

Chair: Philip Bess, University of Notre Dame 

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Previous articleDon’t It Make You Wanna Go Home Now?
Next articleCatholic Universities, Protestant Ministries, and the Purpose of Education
James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, from the importance of local culture to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative. He has published five books, including most recently, a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014). Raised in the Great Lakes State, baptised in the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, seasoned by summers on Lake Wawasee (Indiana), and educated under the Golden Dome, Wilson is scion of a family of Hoosiers dating back to the early nineteenth century, and an offspring of Southside Chicago Poles whose tavern kept the city wet through the Depression (and prohibition) years.  He now lives under the same sentence of reluctant exile as many another native son of the Midwest, but has dug himself in for good on the margins of the Main Line in Pennsylvania with his beautiful wife, dangerous daughter, and saintly sons. For information on Wilson's scholarship and a selection of his published work, click here. See books written and recommended by James Matthew Wilson.


  1. Nathan,
    You got that slightly wrong – you promised to supply a bottle for my enjoyment. Happy to correct these slight mistakes. See you there, PJD

Comments are closed.