A couple weekends ago, and my apologies for being busy almost 24/7 since then, was the Palladio Conference at Notre Dame. It was an amazing experience mostly because it featured some very important international architects such as Leon Krier and Robert Adam. It also had, quite surprisingly to me, quite a bit of disagreement about what it means to build traditionally or classically these days. Let me tell you, it's not easy. Tradition is one of the most misused and reviled terms on the planet and so no wonder people take differing stands on traditional architecture. I myself have my own theory of architecture which I'm trying to write into a book. I ended up being very annoyed at the architects I saw speak mostly because they weren't very good at it, but also because they didn't seem to delve into the application of Palladian architecture today but rather focused on how Palladio dealt with his own era's problems. Which is fine, but I would have preferred if the architects had gotten up there and defended their own work in terms of Palladian or classical architecture and urbanism. I think it would have sparked a lot of good discussion as well as presented an intellectual and not merely fact-based conference. I did however talk to The Heiress a bit, as well as to her father. (I even had a small discussion with him about something upon which he believed we disagreed. Turned out we didn't.)
Also while I was down there, I hopped over to McKenna Hall where the annual University Faculty for Life Conference was being held, hosted by our very own Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame. Now I am not Faculty of any kind, although I often wish I was. However, my father was attending and he been faculty. And anyway, I am "for Life", so that's all right. Anyway, Professor Solomon, current Director of the Center gave a rousing speech at the Closing Banquet. It concerned the split between the "activist" branch of the prolife movement and the "academic" branch and how the academic debate is at an impasse. It was, surprisingly considering what has happened recently both at Notre Dame and in the World at Large, hopeful. It made me quite glad that I was on the winning side--God's side.