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“worthy of / What these have done in love”

July 27, 2010

The first paragraph of Clipstock’s strong and articulate letter to the Erasmus Institute:

Dear faculty of the Erasmus Institute,

The United States cannot afford to lose the education that I was fortunate enough to experience at Thomas More College. That you all believe this is affirmed in the recent founding of The Erasmus Institute. There is no shortage of Catholic liberal arts colleges in this country, yet amongst all these bastions of revivalism the what is lacking is a subtle continuity with the past—something which for which these institutions seam to yearn so much. Instead, these colleges reject or combat the world of here and now; the world that allows us even to begin to wonder. The Cowan program, however, reaches toward the truth of necessity through that of contingent reality. It participates in and builds on the living tradition of American and Classical thought in a communal joy in proximity to truth.

In the spirit of this posting, I decided to publicize my own recent (and inadequate) letter of support:

Dear friends at the Erasmus Institute,

Thank you for the tremendous energy and love with which you have always undertaken your necessary work, and the grace with which you continue to accomplish it. I am writing in support of this institution, and to express my trust in its long-term staying power.

Good luck,

Adam

I have tried many times on this blog to articulate my debt and commitment to the Cowan education as instituted, once at Thomas More College, and today at the Erasmus Institute. Clipstock’s letter indicates the program’s decisive yet “subtle continuity with the past—something for which these [other Catholic liberal arts] institutions seem to yearn so much.” “The Cowan program,” he writes, “reaches for the truth of necessity through the contingent reality” of the “here-and-now” world which has been thrust upon us—a world strangely disfigured and (even more strangely) full of luminous promise. My post below, merely a collection of quotations and photographs, names and dates, is perhaps the closest I have come to indicating the beauty and fortitude with which the guardians of the Cowan education have met and continue to meet the “necessity” of reaching for truth through this contingent reality that is ours—is us.

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