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Dr. Kopf On The Trivium and Ethics

Dr. Christian Kopf is one of America’s few authentic classicists. Not only is he a professor of classics at UC-Boulder, but he understands the place of the classical languages and education in our world.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking with him about the foundations of education and what it means to be human at this time and in this place.

Dr. Kopf will be speaking at the 2011 CiRCE conference, where he will address the following topics:

  • How the trivium prepares a student for college
  • The Ethics of Rhetoric

He will also lead two colloquies (Socratic discussions), in one of which he will discuss a quotation from Aristotle’s Politics (Book 5) where the Philosopher points out that a democracy needs an aristocratic education.

The titles can’t do justice to Dr. Kopf’s presentation. We talked for a long time and had to condense his deep reading and experience teaching college students and consulting with classical schools into something that fits on the written program. Dr. Kopf has deep and compelling insights into the realities and challenges of our schools and our college.

He knows that there are, even in the contemporary university, “traces of the past stirring amid an alien vision.” We who reject that alien vision are bound to keep those traces stirring, and to stir them ever more vigorously ourselves. He has been doing so at UC since 1973.

Dr. Kopf is the director of the Center for Western Civilization and has spent his whole life working to preserve what we hardly remember.

I hope you will attend our conference in Arlington, TX on July 20-23, 2011. Our theme is What is Man: A Contemplation of the Divine Image. We are offering a super early registration discount until December 15: only $225 (full price is $295). Learn more HERE.

A little more on Dr. Kopf:

Dr. Kopff has earned degrees from Haverford College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught Classics at the University of Colorado, Boulder since 1973 and lived for some of the past 25 years in Rome as teacher at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. He is editor of a critical edition of Euripides’ Bacchae (Teubner, 1982), and the author of over 100 articles and reviews on scholarly and popular subjects. He is the author of the acclaimed book, The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition and has contributed to several books including Vital Remnants and Doomed Bourgeois in Love.

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