Texas Alcuin Fellowship Retreat

Wisdom and Worship: Prayer and Classical Education

Texas Alcuin Fellowship Retreat—Jan. 17-18, 2020

The English word, “school,” comes from the word for “leisure.”  This historical connection now seems surprising, if not bitterly ironic, for many teachers and students.  The disconnection between learning and leisure is reflected in the addiction to busyness that pervades our institutions and our daily lives.  At a deeper level, we also no longer perceive that genuine learning, or growth in wisdom, finds its highest fulfillment in the practice of prayer.  We do not typically see the connection between learning and prayer because we no longer recognize the quality of rest that both activities require.  As a result, we also often have difficulty distinguishing leisure from sloth.

Classical Education relies on a renewed appreciation of the seven liberal arts—three verbal arts and four mathematical arts.   Modern culture, however, tends to reduce the purpose of all such arts to the control of tangible things.   We contend that the renewal of the liberal arts tradition will be successful only to the extent that educators understand that the purpose of the arts is not merely the manipulation of matter.  Traditionally, the highest purpose of the verbal and mathematical arts was understood to be prayer.

How would our vision of education be different if we understood the practical purpose of the verbal and mathematical arts as prayer, rather than merely the control of things in the world?

Join the Texas Chapter of the Alcuin Fellowship, at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas for a time of conversation and renewal as we consider this question (and others) in light of Josef Pieper’s book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture.

The retreat includes in-depth discussion of Pieper’s text and a key-note address by Phillip J. Donnelly on “The Grammar of Prayer.”  Seminar presentations will be led by Allysan Barnes, Stephen Barnes, Allison Buras, Todd Buras, and Joseph DiLuzio.  Common Prayer led by Carlos Colón.

In preparation for the retreat, participants are expected to read Pieper’s short book, preferably the Gerald Malsbary translation, published by St. Augustine’s Press.

Registration: $150. Space is limited.  Applications will be accepted until Nov. 15 (or until all spaces are full).  Registration includes three meals.  Participants need to make independent arrangements for hotel accommodation.  The schedule runs from 5 pm on Jan. 17 through the evening of Jan. 18.


The retreat is co-Hosted by the

Great Texts Program and the Classics Department at Baylor University.

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  • Texas Alcuin Fellowship Retreat
    January 17, 2020 - January 18, 2020
    5:00 pm - 10:00 pm