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The Love of Learning is now available! Since its publication, The Love of Learning has has earned the attention and praise of notable media personalities and outlets. Click the link below to read the latest reviews from around the web.
The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts is available NOW for purchase.
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Through examples of people who have pursued excellence through liberal arts education, this book explores the key ideas and thinkers who shape the way we think about and practice education. The chapters of the book emerged from webinar dialogues between Margarita A. Mooney and the contributors about why and how they practice the liberal arts tradition of teaching. The enriching conversations in The Love of Learning show how the liberal arts tradition of learning can make each of us more fully human — and our culture more humane.
Contributors and Overview
In the first chapter, Professor Mooney discusses with Princeton University Professor of Jurisprudence Robert P. George his journey from childhood in West Virginia to the elite college classrooms where he learned to ask why things are as they are, not just how things work. They explore the importance of tradition in education, along with a lesson Professor George learned from his mother and best teachers: think for yourself.
In Chapter 2, Professor Mooney explores with Stanford University Professor of Education William Damon how his early experiences with moral exemplars in impoverished communities led him to conduct psychology research on moral education in order to develop a vision for integral, transformative education.
In dialogue with Professor Elizabeth Corey of the Politics Department and Honors College at Baylor University, Chapter 3 explores Professor Corey’s early love of music and how that led her to fall in love with the holistic foundations of a liberal arts education. In her teaching, she leads students beyond the achievement culture so they can form authentic friendships, pursue the truth in community, and learn to love learning again.
Timothy P. O’Malley, Director of Education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, explores with Professor Mooney in Chapter 4 his own discovery of the contemplative aspect of experiential education. Experiential education at its best is fully personal—one’s immersion in the world can be the doorway to transcendence and lived tradition.
Chapter 5 is a dialogue with Carlo Lancellotti, Mathematical Physicist at the City University of New York in Staten Island. Coming of age during the student protests in Italy in the 1960s, Professor Lancellotti discusses with Professor Mooney how his encounter with the Benedictine tradition allowed him to discover the beautiful, awe-inspiring aspects of scientific inquiry. As a practicing scientist, he shares with students the presence of poetic truth in the material world.
George Harne, Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, describes in Chapter 6 how his love and talent for music led him to become the first in his family to attend college. This love led him to incorporate the fine arts and questions of beauty into a holistic educational curriculum that unites science, experiential learning, and worship––education that has the capacity to transform all kinds of students.
Chapter 7 is a dialogue with Professor Roosevelt Montás, the former director of Columbia University’s Core Curriculum and Senior Lecturer in American Studies and English at Columbia. Professor Montás shares with Professor Mooney how, as a teenage immigrant to New York City from the Dominican Republic, he learned that the Great Books transcend particular experiences and speak to fundamental human questions. His teaching continues to unite students from different backgrounds in a common journey of truth-seeking.
Across each of the chapters, Professor Mooney shares bits of her own story as a Cuban-American woman seeking to integrate her love of learning with her Catholic faith. Each chapter guides readers to continue their own life-long learning by suggesting readings from key texts from authors old and new, from Plato, Aristotle and Augustine, to John Henry Newman, Jacques Maritain and Luigi Giussani. The book concludes with numerous practical suggestions on pursuing a liberal arts education at any stage in life, including a guide for discussion groups, and points readers toward numerous popular publications which connect the love of learning to our contemporary culture.
What Scholars & Leaders are Saying
As a long-time advocate and practitioner of liberal arts education, I believe that liberal learning is in essence about cultivating a conversation with the great books and with other learners. Presented as a series of pedagogical dialogues between scholars, this book is not merely a conversation about the liberal arts, it exemplifies the liberal arts as conversation. The book’s study questions and guides for further reading will be useful to students and educators at all levels as well as life-long learners of many backgrounds.
— James B. Murphy, Ph.D., Professor of Government, Dartmouth College
In response to our polarized era, Dr. Mooney leads us through a series of foundational debates about the human condition, which frame the importance of a liberal arts education in new ways. To be clear, these are debates, and the civil, erudite discussions outlined in The Love of Learning, provide us with the comforting sense that we can, indeed, deliberate these issues intelligently and in good faith.
— Pete Peterson, Dean, Pepperdine School of Public Policy
A deeply encouraging and accessible book that explains why the liberal arts are vitally central to genuine education, and why studying them is not only invaluable, but fun!
— Eric Metaxas, #1 New York Times bestselling author and host of the nationally syndicated Eric Metaxas Radio Show
Two of the most important things in life are never ceasing to learn and finding out how to pass on to others the most important things you’ve learned. Through highly engaging dialogues with some of our age’s best teachers, Margarita Mooney’s new book inspires and informs us how to do both with enthusiasm and effectiveness.
— Father Roger J. Landry, Catholic Priest and Author
The impediments to a liberating education in our day and age are many, but Margarita Mooney has recast our challenges as tremendous opportunities for a revival of a genuinely humanizing education. The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts is not merely a case for restoration, it is a deeply enriching exemplification of what such a restoration looks like. Through engaging dialogue and serious and civil reflections on timely and timeless questions, Mooney and her impressive collection of collaborators provide a rich and lasting feast for those involved already in the work of reviving liberal education, as well as an appealing invitation for all others to join us in such efforts.
— Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D., Provost and Professor of Philosophy, the University of Dallas
Dr. Margarita Mooney has given readers a great gift in this series of dialogues. They have the potential to stir a new or renewed desire for learning in readers, give sage counsel about how to pursue a liberal education (no matter whether one is in school or not), and model the sorts of conversations that are ideally both a part and a fruit of such an education. Moreover, the book is not just a dialogue between Mooney and her interlocuters or between the reader and the contributors because the volume magnanimously engages with thinkers and theories that stand against the liberal arts tradition, taking them seriously in a refreshing manner that allows for frank rejection of errors without rancor and assimilation of insights with gratitude.
— Benjamin V. Beier, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, Hillsdale College