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In my last essay, I wrote about Leo Strauss’ defense of liberal education as a possible antidote to the narrowness of specialization of knowledge and the moral aimlessness of positivist ideology. One way to teach liberal education is to have students read the great thinkers of one’s tradition. In his chapter on Harvey Mansfield in Teaching in an Age of…

So far I have examined a set of thinkers that could be classified in the same school of thought as “Voegelinian”: Eric Voegelin, Ellis Sandoz, Gerhart Niemeyer, and John H. Hallowell. In their different styles and approaches to teaching, each of them sought to show their students the true, the beautiful, and the good in a manner devoid of ideological…
Gerhart Niemeyer 2

In my previous essays about teaching in an age of ideology, I had looked at two teachers – Eric Voegelin and Ellis Sandoz – who sought to clear the ideological rubble in the modern academia so students could study the true, the beautiful, and the good. In his accessible lectures about complicated philosophical topics, Eric Voegelin elicited an erotic restlessness…
Ellis Sandoz 2


Professor Ellis Sandoz, the Hermann Moyse, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies, was born in 1931, a descendent of Swiss immigrants who came to Louisiana in 1829. He attended and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951 and a Master of Arts degree in…

In my previous essay about Eric Voegelin, I wrote how Voegelin became a model of thinking devoid of ideological rant in the student’s quest for the true, the beautiful, and the good. One of those students was Ellis Sandoz, who in turn became a master teacher himself in the mold of Eric Voegelin. In his chapter on Ellis Sandoz in…

Michael Henry, in his contribution to this volume, reports on the experience of James Rhodes, whose life changed when, as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, he walked into the classroom of Gerhart Niemeyer:
"Like Socrates [Niemeyer] exerted such a magnetic attraction on those of kindred spirit that many can still vividly recall the first encounter with him as…

What does it mean to teach in an age of ideology?
At first glance, especially for conservatives, the answer appears to be obvious: to advocate for conservative ideas and principles against the prevailing ideologies of relativism, feminism, multiculturalism, and other “politically correct” dogmas that dominate the institutions of American higher education today. Alternatively, if you teach at an institution that is…

The motivations of my work . . . arise from the political situation.  Anybody with an informed and reflective mind who lives in the twentieth century since the end of the First World War . . . finds himself hemmed in, if not oppressed, from all sides by a flood of ideological language.[1]
 
Responding to the dramatic political upheavals of his…