Jonathan Pageau: Bringing the Symbolic World to the Symposium Stage

Great Hearts Institute September 14, 2023

Jonathan Pageau

Jonathan Pageau will be a keynote speaker at The National Symposium for Classical Education this year. The Symposium, made possible by the Great Hearts Institute, is the leading conference of scholars and K-12 educators dedicated to enriching our understanding of classical education and building a world-class network of professionals from within the classical movement.

Pageau is a French Canadian liturgical artist, icon carver, writer, and public speaker. With a YouTube following of 191K, he has become a sought-out interpreter of the deep patterns in stories. His podcast entitled The Symbolic World features, in both English and French, Jonathan’s interpretations and conversations with other artists, thinkers and culture champions who are interested in restoring a collective respect for and use of these patterns as the very stuff of the cosmos.

The cover of the book, "Snow White and the Widow Queen" by Jonathan PageauJonathan’s current project is an eight-book series, the first of which is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, Snow White. The first book, Snow White and the Widow Queen, funded in 2 hours and ultimately at 1200% with stunning success on Kickstarter. With this storybook publishing project, Pageau is exploring a new way of telling Fairy Tales, one which is both aware of our cultural need for virtue formation as well as the roots these stories have planted in our common imagination.

“Something that I started contemplating some time ago — and that started as a play that I wrote for my children — has remained on my mind for all these years, and it is this: Snow White’s baseline story is at risk of being swallowed up in a cultural moment,” said Pageau about his project. “And it’s not just Snow White but it’s all of the fairy tales, and I’ve decided that this is the right time to retell the fairy tales and to claim that cultural moment… Many of our ancient stories, fairy tales, myths and common narratives become exhausted by external attempts to deconstruct, reinvent and even invert their original meanings. We’ve almost forgotten why we cared so much about all these old tales in the first place! This is why I think it’s high time to retell and re-disrupt our original fairy tales in a spirit of celebration, admiration, and unashamed joy. I have spent the past two decades meditating on the strange narrative elements of Snow White and other fairy tales. I’m now very excited to put these meditations into print because the stories are beautifully preserved and refined by time and ready to present hidden treasures most of us have never noticed.”

He also published a graphic novel entitled God’s Dog: Monster and is currently working on the second volume in that series, an imaginative and epic story of the dog-headed St. Christopher.

Learn more about Pageau’s projects on his website, You can learn more about Snow White and the Widow Queen, and pre-order the book at

Hear from Jonathan Pageau and other impactful speakers at the 2024 Symposium will be held on March 20-22 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Registration is NOW LIVE!


This year’s Symposium will focus on renewing the Great Conversation concerning great works and perennial ideas. This year we will underscore the importance of teaching and modeling the conversations that lead to insight–among colleagues, between teachers and students, with families, and across our communities. At a time when our society most needs genuine dialogue, classical schools provide a sanctuary of genuine civility. Join us to discover how classical education embodies the good conversations, providing both the means and the model for a more civil society.

a panel of presenters on stage at The 2023 National Symposium for Classical Education.

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