Magdalen College: From the Summit

Peter Sampo: “On the Renewal of Catholic Education”

February 8, 2020

In this dialogue, Dr. Peter Sampo, the college’s founding president, takes up the principles that should guide any renewal of Catholic education.  Foremost is the spirit of joy: "Pursuing the life of the mind is the most joyful thing there is and everything that comes with that should be joyful as well ... The spirit of the whole place should be a celebration."   

He also considers how we can emulate the intellectual excellence of the great Catholic universities of the Middle Ages, the role that the curriculum should play in guiding the institution's every dimension, and considers the place of Catholic ritual within the institution:  "we must be surrounded by Catholic ritual because that points to transcendence ... the life of the mind includes pursuing the transcendent as well as the immanent." 

And he considers the friendship that should exist between teacher and student, the tradition of paideia, the role of beauty in the cultivation of the intellect, and more.

Links of potential interest:

Peter Sampo on "Paideia"

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

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