Anthony Esolen, Professor and Writer-in-residence at Magdalen, recently highlighted the college in The Catholic Thing. He explains how Magdalen provides an education in true freedom that liberates students from the “social manacles” of secular orthodoxy. This approach to education, punctuated by our vantage point atop the slopes of Mount Kearsarge, ripples through every classroom, every liturgy, and every meal we share. It nourishes the intellect and draws us to the truth.
Dr. Esolen reflects, “Think of that mountain. The truth is a power, a dynamism. It is as senseless to call the truth a cramp on liberty as to call a mountaintop a narrowing of the sight. From it you enjoy a breadth of vision and imagination that people confined to their fluorescent-lighted political cubicles do not know exists…you need not worry about that patch of mud a thousand feet below. You are not tangled up in a wet thicket of bittersweet and poison ivy. You can extend your arms. You can look up and down and all around.”
How rare is true freedom in today’s landscape of higher education. Dr. Esolen laments the strangulation of the intellect whereby scholars dutifully repress western civilization in observance of cultural wokeness. We lose out by our refusal to listen and learn from those who came before us, even if we disagree with much of what they did and said. Where else, if not in settings like our mountain campus, can young minds grapple with the great Catholic philosophers and theologians alongside Marx and Nietzsche?
An education in freedom does not distort or conceal, but sheds light on the genius of great thinkers. It illuminates the good, exposes evil, and brings joy. Dr. Esolen articulates, “There is a rich joy to be atop the hills of the liberal arts.” To learn more about the education for freedom we offer and the unique perspective afforded by our mountaintop vista, read the full article.