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Show Notes

What is the meaning of intellectual life? In modern education, educators and students alike are often disillusioned by the attitude prevalent in educational institutions that emphasizes usefulness and practicality rather than contemplating the meaning and purpose of life. Zena Hitz shares her own disillusionment and frustrations as an educator, and how she found the true meaning of intellectual life in contemplating truth itself, including those questions most formative for one’s happiness in God. Zena Hitz and Matthew Barrett point us to the value of the contemplative life in this chaotic age of social media where people feed on the next thrill. Using Augustine as a foil, Zena explains why withdrawing from this world’s ambitions might just save education…and the human soul itself.


Zena Hitz is a tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, as well as the founder and president of the Catherine Project. She is the author of Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life [affiliate link]. She writes for general audiences about freedom, education, happiness, the decline of our institutions, faith, hope, and love. Her scholarship is in classical philosophy, especially questions about law, character, friendship, and the human good. 

Matthew Barrett is the editor-in-chief of Credo Magazine, director of the Center for Classical Theology, and host of the Credo podcast. He is professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of several books, including Simply Trinity, which won the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in Theology/Ethics. His new book is called The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He is currently writing a Systematic Theology with Baker Academic.

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