Liberal Arts Education: What’s the Point? Robert George and Cornel West in Conversation

Professors George and West discuss the value of an education grounded in academic freedom that aims for greater connection across differences.



Graham Chapel Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130


In a time of sharp political and religious polarization, it’s fair to ask what the role of our country’s universities and colleges should be. How can educators respond to the crises of our time? What norms and tools best equip students to flourish in the world they will inherit and to be empowered to improve it? Is there even a point to a liberal arts education anymore?

Professors Robert George and Cornel West have spent years pondering, debating, and conversing about these questions. George is a conservative legal scholar and traditionalist Roman Catholic and West is a democratic socialist philosopher in the progressive Christian tradition. Two distinguished and widely celebrated intellectuals—and friends—they frequently discuss the importance of building trust, developing bonds despite political and religious differences, and holding one another accountable—urgent work that both strongly believe is at the heart of liberal arts education.

Join us for this critical conversation about the value of an education grounded in academic freedom that challenges people of diverse political persuasions to forge understanding and greater connection across differences.

There will be time for audience Q&A and a reception for all in Umrath Lounge immediately following the lecture. Please check this website on the day of the event for any updates.

This event is free and open to all.

Your RSVP to or (314) 935-9345
allows us to update you with event information and to send parking information.

Cosponsored with


  • Robert George

  • Cornel West

  • R. Marie Griffith

    Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities