The Classical Mind Newsletter for October 6, 2023
To Ban or Not to Ban, Good Teaching and Higher Education, The Winter's Tale, Early Christian Philosophers, Theologians, and Poets, Dorothy Sayers and the Detective Genre
The next book is The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
After The Social Contract, we’ll be doing Troilus and Criseyde by Chaucer. After Chaucer, will be a Listener’s Choice episode so keep your eyes peeled in coming weeks for an announcement about that and be thinking of what books you’d like to hear discussed!
We are back on YouTube so, if you haven’t, please subscribe to us there for videos of all our episodes.
To Ban or Not to Ban
If you’ve paid attention to the news, you know questions are being asked about whether some books should be banned. In, Joel Miller has written a lovely piece called “Books Divide Us, but They Can Also Heal”. He tells the story of the cancelling of The Black Witch by Laurie Frost before it was even released. But in the rush to trash books, we overlook the benefit of even controversial literature, namely that it can be a way we wrestle with tough issues. Even more, as the title implies, books can play an important role in healing us. Here at the Classical Mind, we heartily concur!
If books help us acclimate to democratic engagement and deal with the existential realities we face, then we should spend less time worried about banning books and, as Erik Rostad recently noted, spend more time encouraging people to read, period: “High school students aren't reading books, banned or not. What if we focus there first?” After all, books can only work their magic if we open them.
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