"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Robert H. Gundry on "Learning for Spirituality"

Here is a brief excerpt from Robert H. Gundry's essay "Learning for Spirituality" which is in his new book Extracurriculars: Teaching Christianly Outside Class. It was originally an address given in chapel at Westmont College where Gundry is Professor Emeritus and Scholar-in-Residence.

"...my point...is not to work Christianity into your business. It's not to work spirituality into your learning. You should, of course. You should make your learning an act of worship by putting a Christian perspective on the literature you study, on the art, on the psychology, on the sociology, the political science--on whatever you study. Sometimes it'll be easy to do, sometimes hard to do. How do you put a Christian perspective on math? I don't know. Maybe our math teachers can tell us. But this morning isn't about putting learning into spirituality, about infusing our learning with spirituality. It's the other way around. It's about putting learning into spirituality, about infusing spirituality with learning, so that our spirituality will have density and depth and weight, so that our spirituality is thoughtful and wise and knowledgeable as well as warm and glowing and tender. Learning for spiritual formation means working everything you learn, in all your courses, working it into your Christian life and witness instead of keeping it separate from you spirituality. Instead of walling off your spirituality and keeping it supposedly safe from your learning, pray the Holy Spirit to make your learning nourish your spirituality, your Christian life, your Christian witness" (40).

What a wonderful description of what faith and learning, learning and faith, the spiritual life and the liberal arts is all about! If you enjoyed this quote, you should read the rest of the essay and the other essays in the volume. 

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