How a Theology of Wisdom Undergirds Classical Education: The Figure of Speaking Wisdom in Proverbs and Beyond


by
Jason Barney June 28, 2015


Presented at:
SCL Conference 2015

ABSTRACT:

“Wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the squares she thunders!” (Prov 1:20). The figure of speaking Wisdom is more than just an interesting literary device. Jewish and Christian tradition saw in a theology of Wisdom a foundation for what we would call classical education. In this presentation I propose to show how the theology of Wisdom presented in Proverbs and later Jewish and Christian texts presents us with what I call a traditional and transcending pedagogy. This traditional and transcending pedagogy is the antidote to the fragmentation of the modern world of education, specifically to three problems: scientism, technicism and pragmatism. These three -isms share the feature of reductionism, i.e. they reduce the educational endeavor to less than it is. A theology of Wisdom, however, has the power to unite all the dissected ideals of education.


TAGS:

Classical Education Pedagogy Theology Wisdom


Resources:

Jason Barney
Jason Barney recently joined the faculty of The Geneva School of Orlando as Upper School Latin and Greek Instructor. This last year he was the Director of Instruction for Languages and Faculty Development at Clapham School, a classical Christian school in Wheaton, IL. He served as Clapham’s Head Latin Instructor for the last six years. In 2012 he was awarded the Henry Salvatori Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Hillsdale College. In May 2014 he completed a MA in Biblical Exegesis at Wheaton College, where he received The Tenney Award in New Testament Studies. Jason’s research interests include: the foundations of classical education in the biblical texts, especially the Theology of Wisdom in Proverbs; the great philosophers of education from the classical era to the present (Aristotle, Quintilian and Aquinas are current favorites); and, in particular, the importance of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education for classical schools today.


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