Roman Roads Press Blog

Roman Roads Press Blog

Dante and the Nature of Sanctification

by Joe Carlson on Posted on

A central question in the Christian life is this: what does it mean to grow in holiness, and that particular holiness without which we will not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)?  You should not be surprised to hear me say there are seriously helpful answers to this question to be found in Dante’s Comedy. If you are a thorough-going protestant like myself, you might be surprised to hear that many of those answers are found in Purgatorio. There will be a time and place for unpacking the full nature of what our relationship to the notion of Purgatory should be … Continue Reading “Dante and the Nature of Sanctification”

Q/A: Old Western Culture Credits without Reading

by Daniel Foucachon on Posted on

There was a question from a parent asked in the comment section of a YouTube video (embedded below) that I think might benefit other families that use Old Western Culture. Q: Thanks for the video! How would you recommend assigning credits if the student only watched the videos? A: That’s a great question! It opens up the somewhat complicated question of credits altogether. I will answer in two ways.   First: While how this is enforced may vary by state, we would strongly affirm the fundamental rights of parents to be primary educators and decision makers for k-12 education. Often homeschoolers are held to a … Continue Reading “Q/A: Old Western Culture Credits without Reading”

Dante, Protestant

by Joe Carlson on Posted on

Ok, so of course I’m being provocative. Dante was not a son of the Protestant Reformation. His Comedy was published in 1320, a full 200 years before Luther said, “Here I stand…” at Worms. And yes, his epic poem is full of doctrines that make actual protestants squirm. He prays to Mary; he prays for the dead; he holds to a purgatorial state where, even if man is reconciled to God by the blood of the cross, sinful habits that remain at the end of one’s life still must be purged after death before one ascends to Heaven. So how … Continue Reading “Dante, Protestant”

An Intro to Dante, by Dante

by Joe Carlson on Posted on

This Article is an excerpt from the introduction to Inferno: Reader’s Guide. Dante Alighieri finished his Comedy (it was only called the Divine Comedy after his death) in 1320. He dedicated the final volume, Paradiso, to his friend and benefactor, the “magnificent and most victorious Lord, the Lord Can Grande della Scala.” In a famous letter written to his patron, Dante acknowledges the helpfulness of introductions. He says,  If any one, therefore, is desirous of offering any sort of introduction to part of a work, it behooves him to furnish some notion of the whole of which it is a … Continue Reading “An Intro to Dante, by Dante”

Hell is Obscene

by Joe Carlson on Posted on

For those coming to Dante’s Inferno for the first time, you might be surprised to find brief instances of vulgarity coming out of the mouth of the narrator. “This is a Christian poem…why are there bad words?!” And the question really is directed at me, as the translator. “Couldn’t you have used ‘crap’ or ‘poop’?” Well, I could have. But I didn’t, and I wanted you to know why. The primary reason is that Dante didn’t pull any punches, and so I didn’t want to either. But more than that, one of the great benefits of reading the Inferno, and … Continue Reading “Hell is Obscene”

Logic: A Science and Art

by Daniel Foucachon on Posted on

Logic and RhetoricLogic: A Science and Art Is logic a science or an art? Of course, a logician would answer Yes, and here is why. A science is a systematic study of some aspect of the natural world that seeks to discover laws (regularities, principles) by which God governs His creation. Whereas botany studies plants, astronomy studies the sky, and anatomy studies the body, logic studies the mind as it reasons, as it draws conclusions from other information. Logic as a science seeks to discover rules that distinguish good reasoning from poor reasoning, rules that are then simplified and systematized. These would include the rules … Continue Reading “Logic: A Science and Art”

We Need Stories

by Daniel Foucachon on Posted on

We Need Stories Old Western Culture Once upon a time there was a horse that couldn’t be tamed. He was young and strong, nervous and rangy. King Philip wanted to ride him in battle, and every man of the king’s army looked on that beautiful horse with admiration. But man after man could not tame him; with wild, frantic energy he started and bucked at every battle-hardened solder that tried to get close to him. After many men had failed they were about to declare him untamable and send him back into the wild, when the king’s young son stepped forward … Continue Reading “We Need Stories”

Why Old Western Culture has no self-graded quizzes

by Daniel Foucachon on Posted on

Several years ago we produced self-grading quizzes for a unit of Old Western Culture as a trial. They worked great, and demonstrated that students were paying attention to the material. But we decided not to publish them. Here is why. While self-grading quizzes can be very useful, especially for subjects like math and language, we wanted to emphasize the “recitation,” or Socratic dialogue use of the workbooks for Old Western Culture. Ideally, the workbooks shouldn’t be used for mere comprehension, even if they accomplish that, but as a jumping point for discussion. Grappling with the questions from the lectures and readings … Continue Reading “Why Old Western Culture has no self-graded quizzes”

Eucatastrophe

by Daniel Foucachon on Posted on

Subject | Grades 9-12+Eucatastophe Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world’s ending! …There flowered a White Tree, and that was for Gondor.Tolkien, Return of the King “This emotional rollercoaster that Tolkien puts us on – puts Éomer on – this swinging us from one extreme of Éomer’s sense of despair and impending defeat, to the thrill of discovering that what you thought was your enemy coming to kill you was in fact your friends and allies coming to rescue you. That’s what Tolkien calls “Eucatastrophe,” and that’s how Tolkien would have us read, and to feel, and to experience, … Continue Reading “Eucatastrophe”