28 September 2006

The Principle of Integration

Back to CiRCE! My CD’s should be arriving any day now.

The next session, “The Principles of Classical Education: The Principle of Integration”, was taught by John Mason Hodges. (Again, I’ll add my thoughts in colored italics.)

We labor under false dichotomies, specifically separation of faith and reason, which leads to rationalism and the death of truth.

To Integrate means to make one or whole

In the medieval university, in order to know anything, you needed Jesus in the center. John likened the university to a wheel. Jesus was the center that the hub, philosophy, turned around; the spokes were the seven liberal arts, the tire was practice and application.

Where can knowledge be found in the multiversity of today? How can we return to integration?

We need something higher than the disciplines to integrate them. We must return to a hierarchy. We can’t integrate two subjects without a general principle or a moving toward the center of the wheel. (That general principle stands over the separate subjects, otherwise there could be no integration. I think this is the hierarchy that John refers to, a hierarchy of ideas with some being more basic or foundational than others which build upon these foundations, not any kind of hierarchy of people. And I’ll admit that, by using a building metaphor, I’ve turned John’s metaphor literally on its head! ☺)

We can’t turn back the clock, but we can turn back toward the center.

Currently, we have a separate philosophy for each subject, but we need to base our philosophies on theology. Only in the Logos can we find integration.

Logos=the defining principle of everything.

Right worship is connected to integration and knowledge.

As we integrate all knowledge in Christ, we get a clearer view of it and that leads us to worship rightly the Creator of all knowledge.

This builds on what I’ve learned from George Grant in our Christendom studies. Today, we don’t have many universities, but we have a multitude of multiversities. There is no overarching principle or core that all students must study and then branch out to study their specialization according to these core principles. That core used to be Christ, Christianity, Western Civilization. ISI has published some great little booklets, which are also available to be downloaded free, to guide today’s college students in how to pursue this core at colleges and multiversities. While there are a few schools that still insist that all students master a core of knowledge, they are rare.

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