The Rise and Fall (and Rise?) of the Seven Liberal Arts
WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 4-5:30pm ET
WHO: Andrew Kern
Can’t make it live? Everyone who registers will get a recording of the webinar.
If you were to attend a conventional liberal arts college, you would be truly fortunate to learn the liberal arts. And yet, these were the studies that western civilization had used to cultivate virtue in her leaders, to nourish genius in her artists, and to enable the possibility of freedom in her citizens.
What happened to them? What were they, before their name was misapplied? Can we – should we – hope for and even labor for their renewal?
From Homer and Pythagoras in ancient Greece through Cicero and Virgil in ancient Rome, and well into the Middle Ages and even the Renaissance, the pursuit of wisdom was boiled down to the seven classical liberal arts. But from the 15th century to the 20th, those arts gradually declined and then suddenly fell. They were replaced by an increasingly fragmented, sub-human, and irrational curriculum. Then, out of nowhere, late in the 20th century, they began to make a comeback.
While explaining the nature of the seven liberal arts, this webinar tells their story, beginning with their rise in the classical world, their dominance in the Christian era, and their decline in the age of anxiety. It ends with hope, describing some of the efforts to renew them in our own blessed time.