You Schall Not Pass!

by Timothy Lusch

Unless You Read James V. Schall

On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs: Teaching, Writing, Playing, Believing, Lecturing, Philosophizing, Singing, Dancing by James V. Schall

I first encountered the inimitable Father James V. Schall, S.J. in a wee little book called A Student’s Guide to Liberal Learning. It is a walk through the greatest books and thinkers with a brilliant and generous guide. Schall is a teacher and reader par excellence. He wants us to read, as he has done, the greatest minds and the greatest books not to be liberal in a political sense, but in the human sense. To be liberal is to broaden one’s humanity beyond the skull size kingdom (as David Foster Wallace called it) we live in. To get outside of ourselves that we may become more fully human. Schall knows that thinking, reading, writing, and other forms of communicative expression give life great meaning and enjoyment. That without them, and without the higher things they strive to impart, we are left with a dark, dark, world.

We have only to look around and see those trapped in the “everything is relative, I’m a victim, and the government isn’t doing enough for me” mentality and know this is true. It is not a political problem. It is one that rests within each of us. Do we want the best? Or do we just want to be comfortable with the least?

Read Schall and you will be driven to know the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

“No one will seek the highest [things] if he believes that there is no truth, that nothing is his fault, and that government will guarantee his wants.”