Education for Life
Fall 2016 quarter
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
T. S. Eliot, “Two Choruses from the Rock”
Education is not schooling. Schooling is for fish and maybe for getting a job. Life is not living. Living is what you have to make or, to some, everything that happens between birthing and dying. What could “Education for Life” mean? We’ll read some sages who seem to have wisdom enough to offer answers.
Annie Dillard muses, “If God does not cause everything that happens, does God cause anything that happens? Is God completely out of the loop?" We’ll see where that comes from and where it leads. Victoria Sweet, a physician, thinks we need to learn to wait. She found herself in many situations where she “was presented with an experience, a person whose value one did not know in advance. What seemed to be good might be bad; what seemed to be bad, good. One didn’t know; one had to wait.” We’ll see if that can mean anything. Martin Buber thinks that sin is not doing the wrong thing but that sin lies in not making a decision. “If there were a devil it would not be one who decided against God, but one who, in eternity, came to no decision.” We’ll see. Charles Bowden asks, “How can a person live a moral life in a culture of death?” and answers, "by saying Yes to life," all of it. We shall certainly see.
There are others who might help us claw our way back up T. S. Eliot’s slippery slope to our future. We’ll find some.
Also, students will learn to write well. They will learn to craft beautiful sentences.
Location and Schedule
First class meeting: Monday, September 26 at 12pm (Sem II D2105)