30 March, 2010
18 March, 2010
Johann Christoph Kunze arrived in the colonies in 1770. He had taught at Kloster Berge (left) near Magdeburg (which would, not 40 or 50 years later become a hot-bed of Lutheran confessionalism). Prior to that he had received a full-fledged classical gymnasial education at Halle and theological education at Leipzig.
We have here in America large English institutions of that sort, academies, colleges, and universities. In these institutions every year large crowds of young gentlemen are created bachelors, masters, licentiates, doctors of law and doctors of medicine, and they are let loose on the world. Then the poor suckers wander to and fro. They have used up their small resources and have no way of making a living. They cannot dig, to beg they are ashamed, and so they sometimes become public charges. [in: Carl Frederick Hausmann, Kunze's Seminarium (Philadelphia: American Germanica Press, 1917), 28].
to torment such candidates [that is, for the pastoral office] with foreign languages over a period of many years; it would be sufficient if they possess native intelligence, a compendious knowledge and experience of the marrow and sap of theology...an understanding of the mother tongue [German, of course] and English, and possibly also the declensions and conjugations of the Latin language...and, preeminently, a heart that loves the Savior of the world and His sheep and lambs. [in: T. Tappert and J. Dobberstein, trans., The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1945), 2.586–7]
11 March, 2010
Sermonis certas tradit Dialectica leges,
Quaque via poßis prendere vera, docet.
Ac velut in coenum incautus si forte viator
Labitur, atque udo polluit ora firmo:
Surgit, & immundis sordes detergit ocellis,
Abluit & turpi squalida membra luto:
Sic hebetes oculos acuit Dialectica mentis,
Lynceus ut videas lumina vera puer.
[Philippus Melanchthon, Epigrammatum libri sex, ed. Petrus Vincentius (Wittenberg: haeredes Johannis Cratonis, 1579), Liber Quartus, N2 43 recto et verso.]
Discourse’s sure regulations within Dialectic discovered
Teach you the road on which you pow’r upon truth may lay claim.
Just as the footman, unheeding, perchance may stumble in puddles,
Visage and face with the damp earth and its filth befoul:
He then arises and scrubs from his eyes, unclean, their foulness,
Washing that unsightly sludge, cleansing his aspect of filth:
So, just so, Dialectic can sharpen the mind’s blunt vision
That, like Lynceus, you, too, with acuity, see!
[Trans. J.S. Bruss © 2010.]
Sometimes things aren't what they seem, and sometimes nice girls dress in provocative clothing (is it pressing too far to mention Dostoyevsky's Sofia Semyonovna Marmeladova?). The God who communicates to humans through His Word, who inscripturates Himself in human language, does that because He has given the capacity to reason. Just let reason be--and remain--modest, Mistress of her realm, not madame in a street where she has no business.
07 March, 2010
01 March, 2010
liberal arts means not only a course of study featuring a rich mix of disciplines in the arts and sciences, but also an education that emphasizes skills such as complex problem solving and requirements that students learn to apply classroom curricula to real-world experiences