We embark on a quest to save the humanities, meet the slow watch, and I share about a workshop on classical education and Christian formation I am leading next month.
You can read the rest of his newsletter here.
I don’t own one, but the concept of a slow watch is fascinating to me. A 24-hour faceplate with a single hand:
(This one is available on Etsy here.)
A thousand different forces are killing student interest in the humanities and cultural interest in high culture.
So says Ross Douthat here.
How are we to recover interest in the humanities? Douthat offers a starting point for this endeavor, arguing that the recovery of the humanities must depend…
… at least on the idea that certain books and arts and forms are superior, transcendent, at least on the belief that students should learn to value these texts and forms before attempting their critical dissection.
What Douthot considers just the starting point for the recovery of the humanities is actually quite daunting.
In fact, just one part of his starting point may seem simple, but is potent enough to ignite a battle within the world of education:
students should learn to value …
In the world of modern education you will not get very far convincing anybody that education involves the shaping of specific, particular values.
Most schools are built to equip, or to inform, or to train the mind. (And, most often, with the chief aim of college or career readiness.)
Not many schools are built to shape desires or instill specific values. Most will attempt to teach students what to know; few will attempt to teach students what to love.
That might be the best place to start: recovering the ancient understanding that education involves the shaping of desires and the teaching of specific values.
It would seen that you can’t teach students to value great works of human culture if you don’t even think your job is to teach students to value anything.
You can hear some of my recent sermons here.
Click here to find out more about a Christian Formation event hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas where I will be leading a small workshop on how a classical Christian pedagogy can help shape your parish formation offerings.