Bench Memos

A Reform Idea to Rally ‘Round

Poaching a bit here on the territory staked out by Phi Beta Cons, I will draw our readers’ attention to a recent piece at Inside Higher Ed by Thomas Lindsay, arguing that we should place the study of American political principles at the center of the college curriculum.  Classic texts and classic questions, beginning with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and The Federalist, can form the basis of a truly democratic education–an education in and for democratic citizenship–that is not merely “filial piety” but a “rational inquiry” of the sort universities exist for the purpose of pursuing.  Lindsay, the deputy chairman of the NEH, makes a powerful case that should be read in full.

Matthew J. Franck — Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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