Speaker Series: "The Great Tradition"

Select from the best speakers and faculty.

Mark Bauerlein

Mark Bauerlein speaker bioMark Bauerlein is emeritus professor of English at Emory University, fellow at the Institute for Human Ecology at Catholic University, and an editor at First Things magazine. His scholarly books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy, The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief, and Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta. His popular books include The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future; Or, Don’t Trust Anyone under 30; Civil Rights Chronicle (contributor); The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking (editor); and The State of the American Mind (coeditor).

His scholarly essays and reviews have appeared in PMLA, Philosophy and Literature, boundary 2, and Cultural Critique. His popular essays and reviews have appeared in Partisan Review, Yale Review, Wilson Quarterly, Times Literary Supplement, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Reason. His opinions and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Toronto Globe & Mail, The Guardian, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, Washington Times, and many other periodicals. He has done more than 450 media interviews, including with CBS News, Fox and Friends, Lou Dobbs, Nightline, ABC’s 20/20, Frontline, NPR’s All Things Considered, and BBC World Today. He has served as consultant to ETS, College Board (AP), International Baccalaureate, Common Core, the states of Florida and South Carolina, National Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities.


“The Survival of Western Civilization in the Digital Age”

“The Rise and Fall of the Humanities”

William Fahey

William FaheyWilliam Fahey is the third president of Thomas More College and brings to the office a record of institution building and broad scholarly accomplishments. On the natural level, he attributes his successes to the excellent counsel of family and friends, and to the guiding principle that a Catholic liberal arts education is truly an excellent foundation for all human action.

Fahey earned an Honors AB from Xavier University in Classics and history. Afterwards, Fahey pursued postgraduate studies in ancient history at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), where he completed the MPhil in ancient history. At the Catholic University of America, he studied in the Department of Classics, and earned both an MA and a PhD (with highest distinction) through the Early Christian Studies program.

He has held a number of distinguished fellowships, including the Richard Weaver Fellowship, a Henry Salvatori Fellowship at the Heritage Foundation, the H.B. Earhart Fellowship, and the Maguerite Eyer Wilbur Fellowship at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.


“Education as if Truth Mattered”

“Libraries and the Culture Wars”

“Education and the Monastic Tradition”

Richard M. Gamble

Richard M. Gamble speaker bioRichard M. Gamble (PhD, University of South Carolina) is professor of history and holds the Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Chair in History and Politics at Hillsdale College. His publications include The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation (ISI Books, 2003), The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being (ISI Book, 2007), the chapter on World War I for the Cambridge History of Religions in America, In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth, and A Fiery Gospel: The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Road to Righteous War. He is currently at work on a religious history of the Prohibition movement and a history of the Concord School of Philosophy. His courses, essays, and reviews focus on the history of American civil religion and the long argument over American identity.


“Rebuilding the Great Tradition“

“The Bookshelf of the West”

“Where’s Cicero? The Limitations of ‘Great Books’ Lists”

Gary L. Gregg

Gary L. GreggGary L. Gregg, PhD, is author or editor of 10 books on American politics, the presidency, and the American Founding. He is an award-winning teacher and public lecturer, having most recently won the George Washington Medal for Public Communication. He holds the Mitch McConnell Chair in Leadership at the University of Louisville, where he is also director of the McConnell Center and serves as director and lead faculty for the U.S. Army’s annual Strategic Broadening Seminar. He is also author of two young-adult novels: The Sporran and The Iona Conspiracy and is host of the podcast Vital Remnants.


“Literary Rebel—C.S. Lewis on Liberty, Law, and Leadership”

“Farewell—George Washington’s Enduring Lessons for Leadership and Life”

“Cato—The Tragedy That Made America”

“Statesmanship and the Moral Imagination”

“Deliberation—Lost Lynchpin of the Republic?”

“Thinking Institutionally—Tocqueville’s Guide to Conserving our Constitution”

Harvey Mansfield

Harvey Mansfield "The Great Tradition" speaker series

Harvey C. Mansfield is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard and studies and teaches political philosophy. He has written on Edmund Burke and the nature of political parties, on Machiavelli and the invention of indirect government, in defense of a defensible liberalism, and in favor of a constitutional American political science. He has also written on the discovery and development of the theory of executive power, and is a translator of Machiavelli and Tocqueville. In 2006 he published a book on manliness, and in 2010 one on Tocqueville. His present projects include a book titled Our Parties to explain the ideas, virtues, and temperaments of Democrats and Republicans; a study of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels; and a book on Machiavelli and the “discovery of fact.”

He was chairman of the government department at Harvard from 1973 to 1977, has held Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowships, and was on the Advisory Council of the NEH. In 2004 he received the National Humanities Medal from the president, and in 2007 delivered the annual Thomas Jefferson lecture sponsored by NEH. In 2011 he was awarded a Bradley Prize. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.


“The Political Philosophy of Machiavelli”

“The Liberalism of Montesquieu”

“The Virtue of Manliness in the Western Tradition”

“An Introduction to Tocqueville”

Lorraine Smith Pangle

Lorraine PangleLorraine Smith Pangle is professor of government and codirector of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches political philosophy and ethics. She holds a BA in history from Yale and a PhD from the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought. Her books include Reason and Character: The Moral Foundations of Aristotelian Political Philosophy, Virtue Is Knowledge: The Moral Foundations of Socratic Political Philosophy, The Political Philosophy of Benjamin Franklin, Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship, as well as articles on ancient and modern political thought and the philosophy of education.


“A Well-Formed Mind: Aristotle and the Intellectual Virtues”

“Freedom of Speech and a Free Society”

“The Legacy of Homer”

“Educational Ideas of the American Founders”

R.J. Snell

R.J. SnellR.J. Snell is director of academic programs at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. Prior to his appointment at Witherspoon, he was professor of philosophy and director of the philosophy program at Eastern University and the Templeton Honors College, where he founded and directed the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good. He has been visiting instructor in politics at Princeton, and has published books and articles on natural law, liberal education, sexual ethics, boredom, and more.


“Humanity 2.0: Transcendence and Natural Law”

“Terrible Covenant of Boredom: Hatred of Being and Leisure as Resistance”

“What Is Natural Law, and Why Does It Matter?”

“All You Need Is Love (and a Few More Things)”

“Wasting Time Well: Leisure as the Point of Education”

“The Five Cities of Liberty: Tension and Order in Russell Kirk”

“Thinking in Slogans Means Thinking in Bullets”

R. R. Reno

R. R. Reno "The Great Tradition" speaker series

R.R. Reno serves as editor of First Things. He received his PhD in theology from Yale University and taught theology and ethics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, for 20 years. He has published in many academic journals, and his opinion essays have appeared in Commentary, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other popular outlets. His most books include Return of the Strong Gods, Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, Fighting the Noonday Devil, Sanctified Vision, and a commentary on the Book of Genesis.


“The Bible as a Great Book”

“The Platonic Idea of Speculation”

“Love vs. Argument: What Moves the Soul?”

“The Catholic Intellectual Tradition”

Bradley C.S. Watson

Brad WatsonBradley C.S. Watson is professor of politics and Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is director of the college’s Center for Political and Economic Thought, a research and public affairs institute dedicated to the scholarly exposition of freedom, Western civilization, and the American experience. He has held visiting faculty appointments at Princeton University and Claremont McKenna College, and has been W. Glenn Campbell and Rita-Ricardo Campbell National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton, and Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center. He is a Senior Scholar of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, and has served on the boards of several organizations, including the National Association of Scholars and The Philadelphia Society.

He has written or edited many books, including Progressivism: The Strange History of a Radical Idea, Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence (ISI Books), Progressive Challenges to the American Constitution: A New Republic, and Civic Education and Culture (ISI Books). He has also contributed to various journals, including Armed Forces and Society, the Claremont Review of Books, the Intercollegiate Review, Modern Age, National Review, and Perspectives on Political Science. He has received fellowships from numerous national and international organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Earhart Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and the John Templeton Foundation. He was educated in Canada, Belgium, and the United States, and holds degrees in economics, law, philosophy, and political science.


“Civic Education in an Age of Doubt”

“Western Civilization and the Academy”

“Creed and Culture in the American Founding”

“The Founders’ Vision for Ordered Liberty”

“The Progressive Revolt Against the Constitution”

“Living Constitutionalism and the Decline of the Rule of Law”

Brian A. Williams

Brian A. WilliamsBrian A. Williams is dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and the Templeton Honors College, as well as an assistant professor of ethics and liberal studies. Before coming to Eastern, he was lecturer in theology and Christian ethics at the University of Oxford and director of “Oxford Conversations,” a collection of curated video interviews with leading Christian academics and scholars at Oxford. He holds an MPhil and a DPhil in Christian ethics from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon Scholar; an MA and a ThM in systematic and historical theology from Regent College; and a BA in biblical studies from Ozark Christian College. His current research examines the tradition of didascalic Christian humanism, focusing on the works of Hugh of St. Victor, Philip Melanchthon, and John Henry Newman. Williams’s broader academic interests include virtue ethics, Christian and Muslim political thought, Karl Barth’s theology and politics, classical education, and Dante Alighieri’s Commedia. He is the author of The Potter’s Rib: The History, Theology, and Practice of Mentoring for Pastoral Formation and coeditor of Everyday Ethics: Moral Theology and the Practices of Ordinary Life.


“The Value of a Classical Education”

“The Origin of Grades”

“The Educational Philosophy of John Henry Newman”