The State of the Republic: A Look from the Sources
An Academic Retreat
August 13-15, 2018
Cana Academy
6565 Arlington Blvd., Suite 520
Falls Church, VA 22042

While I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet after my manner, and convincing him, saying: O my friend, why do you who are a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? Are you not ashamed of this? ~ Socrates, The Apology

The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, together with Cana Academy, invite you to experience three days of discussions on the foundations of democratic republics with Socrates and Pericles, Sophocles and Shakespeare, Aquinas and Locke and Jefferson, and others who can deepen our understanding of the crisis facing America today.

Under the guidance of experienced discussion leaders, you will revitalize your love of learning as you taste the joy of time devoted to a communal pursuit of what is true and noble. Whether you have never experienced the freedom of a truly liberal education, or it has been too long since you have enjoyed serious discussions grounded in the great works of our civilization, you will find this retreat satisfying and invigorating.

$275 includes continental breakfast and lunch for each of the three days and one dinner. Daily sessions will run from 8:30-3:30 with a dinner and evening seminar on Tuesday. 

A bound booklet of readings will be mailed to participants in mid-July. Readings average approximately 25 pages per session. 


The Glories of Democracy
Thucydides & Lincoln –
Pericles’ Funeral Oration/Gettysburg Address

A Ruler’s Dilemma

Roman Virtue and Justice
City of God (II.21, V.12-17,19, XIX.20-22, 24-26)


The Devolution of Regimes
Plato –
Republic, Book VIII

Politics, Happiness, Virtue, and the City
Aristotle – 
Ethics I.1-4, 7, 13; X.10; Politics I.1-2

The Nature of Law
Thomas Aquinas –
Summa Theologiae, 1-2.90.1-4, 91.1-3, 92.1-2

Dinner & Seminar
Shakespeare – 
Julius Caesar [complete play] — 4:30 – 8:00


Natural Law and the Origin of Society 1
Hobbes – Leviathan
, Introduction, Chs. 13-15 (3rd Law only), 17-18

Natural Law and the Origin of Society 2
Locke –
Second Treatise on Government, Chs. 2-4, 7-9

The American Republic
The American Founders –
The Declaration of Independence & Federalist Papers 1, 2, 9, 10

Closing Remarks


The State of the Republic: A Look from the Sources
Registration Form