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About Ralston College

An introduction to Ralston College by Stephen Blackwood, founding president of the college.
© Ralston College, 2021

Hi, I’m Stephen Blackwood, the President of Ralston College.

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to “Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas: An Introduction.” In this course, you’re going to have the opportunity to think deeply about what it means to live a good life; you’ll explore questions about happiness, freedom, and human nature; and you’ll do so through an encounter with a great mind in a great text under the guidance of a great teacher. In the next steps, you’ll be introduced to this course’s instructor; and you’ll also be given an overview of the format of the course thereafter. Before that, though, I want to say a few words about Ralston College.

For most of their history, universities have been places where the most fundamental questions could be explored and, through that exploration, students could become, in the process, more fully human, more fully themselves. At Ralston College, we’re dedicated to recovering the call of higher education—to be a place to discover the treasures of humanistic inquiry and to seek out life’s highest purposes. We value four things above all: the pursuit of truth, the freedom on which that pursuit depends, the apprehension of beauty in all its forms, and the fellowship, or friendship, to which that pursuit gives rise.

There may be no better way to begin, or indeed to continue, that journey of profound discovery and intellectual growth than by exploring Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas, presented here by Theodore Dalrymple. In Rasselas, you’ll discover deep thought through great art; in Dalrymple, you’ll find a wise and helpful guide; and, in all of our courses, you’ll find fundamental questions being raised in the present. Because there’s never been a better, more necessary time to ask them than now.

We will be delighted to share more details about opportunities to connect with your fellow learners and with Ralston College throughout the course. Be sure to check out Ralston College Podcasts and Events which are always being updated. Portrait of Stephen Blackwood

© Ralston College, 2021
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Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas: An Introduction

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