At Patrick Henry College stories are powerful

Patrick Henry College National Championship

They are what knit us to each other and convey meaning, morals and metaphysical themes. They aid us when attempting to make abstractions more concrete. Stories are how I learn from someone else’s experience.

To what extent, though, has Academia in our society become less reliant upon well-told stories in the past few decades? What does it look like when colleges and universities stop teaching literature?

Author of three dozen books and long-time Professor in English, Dr. Leland Ryken, recently presented his expertise in a Faith and Reason address to PHC. Throughout the sixteenth century, a remnant of clerics and scholars “kept the flame of learning alive,” by preserving old texts, and launched the rebirth of learning and literature that we know as the Renaissance.

In his Patrick Henry College lecture, titled Saving Literature, Dr. Ryken presents the concept of “preserving something that is in danger of being lost and, to the degree we have lost it, restoring it.”

This assumes, of course, that the secular literary guild has lost something precious in the past four decades. This is a question Dr. Ryken poses, and answers during his lecture at PHC. He also wonders if Christian literary scholars and literature departments at Christian colleges have also lost these things.

At Patrick Henry College, the bedrock of the academic program is its commitment to the classical liberal arts. Patrick Henry College has an extensive classical core curriculum of 63 credits founded on the great texts and ideas that have stood the test of time, starting with the Holy Scriptures.