Monday, July 6, 2015

Christian Roots of the University

Professor Dr. Mark Eckel has a wonderful article that parallels the work of Vishal Mangalwadi on the Biblical roots of education (The Book That Made Your World) and Dallas Willard's critique of the modern university on how it has abandoned the quest for truth and knowledge for a post-Christian, post-modern, completely relativistic view of knowledge, where it is relegated to mere statistics.

"The word 'university' was first used during the Middle Ages to identify a place where the question of how 'the one and the many fit together' was explored. Philosophers believed that the last, most important question to ask was 'how does life work so it’s not chaotic?'
"The Trinitarian Christian worldview has an answer. 'Three persons in one essence' suggests that God created the cosmos to mirror His nature. In this way, education has purpose. There is a cohesive system through which to understand the world. God is the Source, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Culminator of all things. Today’s schools owe their origin to this Christian viewpoint promoted by educational reformers.
"Scientists, grammarians, counselors, theologians, economists, historians, mathematicians, educators in all disciplines depend on coherence to do their work. And it was the influence of John Amos Comenius, a Moravian pastor, whose work established the foundations of modern education.
"Comenius practiced synthesis: the intersection and unification of all things. All great universities seek the same thing—the harmony of all knowledge." Interestingly enough, Harvard’s presidency was first offered to John Amos Comenius.
"Harvard’s crest includes three books: the book of God’s Word, the book of God’s world, and the book of logic. Overlaid on these books is the word veritas, Latin for 'truth.' The search for truth was to begin through the lens of Scripture examining the whole world through God-given logic." - Many of these are dead links, but you may have some success with some searching.

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