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Oct 11, 2009 1:22 am

What Is the Western Tradition?

Compared to the ludicrousness of giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize after nine months in office and the horror of the treatment given to innocent people labeled criminals by federal bureaucrats, my story is mild. But it has led some observers to express relief (and even joy) at my having told it.

Three years ago, the John W. Pope Foundation pledged $90,000 to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a series of lectures on"Renewing the Western Tradition." This followed a long period of discussion and debate over a much larger gift that would establish a curriculum in Western civilization--an idea proposed by the administration but ultimately rejected by the faculty. The lecture series was a remnant.

In the minds of distinguished and named professors at Chapel Hill, it turns out,"renewing" the Western tradition is more like"fixing" the Western tradition or" conducting a nuanced and multi-layered conversation about it and its relationship with other traditions, which may be better." See for yourself.
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