Sunday, August 10, 2008

Matthew Arnold on Culture

"The whole scope of the essay[Culture and Anarchy] is to recommend culture as the great helpout of our present difficulties; culture being a pursuit of our totalperfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world,and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, vainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically."

At San Elijo College it is our aim to get at "the best which has been thought and said in the world." We understand our college to be part of the transmission of the best in western culture. We agree that studying great works allows us to turn a "stream of fresh and free thought" upon what western culture has become. We do this with the intention to live out what is good, true and beautiful.

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