I’d like to give a slap on the back to IHS Press for republishing two books from the late professor, John Senior, who for many years taught the Classics in the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas. He was a profound Catholic thinker. The vision he presents of a restored Christian culture is provocative for many reasons. You will only know what I’m talking about if you read the books.
I have a hardbound copy of Death, and my last soft cover copy of Restoration is in the hands of a friend. I was lucky enough to purchase my copies at face value, when Roman Catholic Books still had some in stock. Used copies are now selling on Amazon and Abebooks at unbelievable prices.
You don’t have to worry about that now, if you want to read them. IHS Press is beginning to ship their versions on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2008, after months of delays at the printer.
One reason to order Death is for the appendix “1,000 Good Books” which has been the standard of measurement against which classical home schoolers and those simply interested in the breadth and depth of their children’s reading adventures judged goodness. Senior offers a compelling argument, why these books are a prerequisite to understanding the “great books” of Western civilization, and to a truly liberal education (understood not as political liberalism).
Restoration focuses more on things we can do to bring about the restoration of culture. It is strong medicine. I’ll give you a spoonful. The first requirement, which Senior repeats throughout the book as the beginning of the process is to “smash the television.”
Both books explore the role of wonder as man’s primary attitude toward creation. No thinking Catholic should deprive himself of the opportunity to read these books. When you sit down to read, bring a pencil. You’ll be wanting it before page two.