Patrick Henry College
Dr. Anthony Esolen and his family
“We are honored to have as our Faith & Reason lecturer Dr. Anthony Esolen – a literature professor, a translator of Dante, a noted blogger, and one of the most penetrating cultural analysts of our day,” says PHC Provost Dr. Gene Edward Veith. “Dr. Esolen gave a lecture at Patrick Henry College about six years ago, and those who heard it still talk about it, so stimulating and inspiring and paradigm-shifting it was. Also, Dr. Esolen still talks about Patrick Henry College students, so engaged and thoughtful they were and such perceptive questions they asked.”
The Faith & Reason lecture is an intellectual and spiritual highlight of each semester at PHC. Each fall, a faculty member from the College presents the lecture, and every spring a visiting lecturer challenges students on a variety of topics which, ultimately, deeply explore the subtle intersections of vibrant faith and human learning. Classes are cancelled for the day. Faculty and staff dine with the students or help serve them, and then lead them in small-group analysis of the lecture. The campus community reunites in the afternoon for a formal panel discussion, and representatives from the small groups get to ask questions of the panel. Overall, Faith & Reason day at PHC provides a common point for students of all majors to debate and serves as a touchstone academic event that they often remember for years.
Dr. Anthony Esolen teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College in Rhode Island. A senior editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, he writes regularly for Touchstone, First Things, and a number of publications and blogs most notably at Mere Comments. His most recent books are Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (ISI Press, 2010), The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Regnery Press, 2008) and Ironies of Faith (ISI Press, 2007). Professor Esolen is the translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy (3 volumes, Random House), Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered (Johns Hopkins University Press), and Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things (Johns Hopkins University Press). With his family, he spends summers in Nova Scotia, where he enjoys picking berries, studying dead (or nearly dead) languages, and roofing the barn.