This blog is dedicated to promoting an appreciation of the classical and Christian heritage of Western civilization. I believe that the Western tradition has compelling answers to the religious, cultural, social, economic, and political problems we face today. Here you will find links to news items and opinion pieces as well as my own thoughts on the state of our society.

Some information about me: I am a Professor at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, USA. I chair the Department of Humanities and teach undergraduate courses in several disciplines, including history, literature, and religion as well as interdisciplinary courses in the humanities. I also teach in Faulkner’s interdisciplinary M.A. and Ph.D. degree programs in Humanities. Along with my colleague Josh Fullman, I edit the Journal of Faith and the Academy, a semiannual scholarly journal that explores the relationship between the academic enterprise and the Christian faith. I have been happily married for fifteen years and have six sons whom I homeschool with my wife’s help.

11 Responses to About

  1. I applaud your devotion to promoting education in Great Books. Having spent many years in that arena–writing about the history of the Great Books movement, among other things–I would like to refer you to a recent book directly relevant to your work. It is Worldly Wisdom: Great Books and the Meanings of Life. Although it takes a more humanistic than religious view of the calssics, it welcomes all perspectives that serve human life. You might find it useful. Amazon gives samples as well as unsolicited reviews. And you can see the web site for the book at Worldlywisdombooks.com.

    Best wishes for your good work,
    James Allen

  2. Hayden Forest says:

    Professor J, can you tell me more about how you make reading selections on a week-to-week basis? Do you, with a certain number of pages in mind to meet your goal of reading both sets of books in seven years, simply make selections from literature, philosophy, science, and mathematics based on personal interest? Or do you have another system or other criteria or both?

    • Dr. J says:

      Hayden, at the beginning of 2011 I added up the pages of all 67 volumes by genre and determined roughly how much I should read each week from each genre to complete everything in seven years. I track my weekly reading on a spreadsheet that keeps a running page count alongside my benchmark page goal. I simply select texts for the week that will keep me close in each category, although occasionally I have to get things out of balance in order to read logical units of longer works. I’m trying to go more or less in ascending order of difficulty in each category.

      I hope this helps.

  3. moira31 says:

    Thank you for this blog. I have been trying to read the Great Books for several years now…of course I’ve made some headway, but raising my children and my job are my priorities. I joined a Great Books Discussion group several years ago, but the talk inevitably turned to politics, and the discussions overall were imbued with political correctness.

  4. Donald Miller says:

    I began a site like this, but it didn’t seem like it was ever going to get any attention from bloggers–and it was wearing me out trying to keep people interested in it. I still have the site. I didn’t delete it, but I am through with the idea. As you can see from visiting my personal site, I’m going it alone.

    My idea was to have a page for every book so that people could comment and share ideas at the bottom of the book’s page. I still have those pages. If you think they might be useful to you, feel free to use them.

  5. Andrew Votipka says:

    Thanks so much for putting this site together! Already reading some of the essays from your first posts on the great books series I’ve found myself drawn to follow along!

  6. Professor J,
    I’d love to introduce you to a project I’m involved with: Old Western Culture. It is a literature program based on the great books, created with Wesley Callihan (Schola Classical Tutorials / Hill Abbey), and has a very similar vision to what you are doing. While it is intended as a high school curriculum, it is also well suited to adult continued education (and many of the homeschool parents purchasing the course are taking it with their kids).

    You can find out more here: http://www.romanroadsmedia.com or http://www.oldwesternculture.com

    I’d love to hear what you think!

    Daniel Foucachon

  7. camilletesch says:

    I recently discovered your Through the Great Books blog. What a great project, and a wonderful resource. I’m excited to start reading along!

  8. milliern says:

    It’s a pleasure to have stumbled across someone with a love for Humanities and who studies the relationship between the human intellectual journey and Christianity.

  9. Pingback: 129. The Great Books Project with Dr. Jason Jewell | Wake Up Call Podcast

  10. Gloria Buckley says:

    I have applied to Faulkner for the PHD in Humanities. I have my BA in English Lit. A J.D. for 30 years. I practice law for 30 years. Now I am finishing my Masters in English Lit. This program and the great books do connect the spiritual, philosophical and humane dots for me. So glad I found this blog

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