Tag Archives: ideology

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Ideology is a highly misunderstood concept.  People use it all the time to describe what, or more precisely, how they think despite the fact that they may not actually be engaged in the theoretical or practical application of ideology.  By doing this, they are unwittingly giving ideology power that it doesn’t deserve, and the word itself becomes a reality every…

In the past several essays, I have reviewed some of the twentieth and twentieth-first century great thinkers as teachers: Eric Voegelin, Ellis Sandoz, Gerhart Niemeyer, John H. Hallowell, Leo Strauss, Harvey Mansfield, and Stanley Rosen. Although these thinkers disagreed with one another in their scholarship from time to time, they all were committed to teaching the true, the beautiful, and…

In the past couple of essays, I have looked at Leo Strauss and Harvey Mansfield as teachers in a climate of positivism, relativism, and academic mediocrity. In this essay, I will explore Stanley Rosen, as described by Nalin Ranasinghe in Teaching in an Age of Ideology. What we will discover is that Rosen shares many of the traits that are…

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…

In my last essay I wrote about Gerhart Niemeyer who sought to avoid indoctrinating his students in order for them to pursue the true, the beautiful, and the good. In this essay I want to do the same thing but look at one of Niemeyer’s students, John H. Hallowell, as a teacher. Spending almost forty years teaching political philosophy at…
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…