The Corner

Education

How Should Christians Approach Education?

Some colleges continue to provide a Christian education (or affect to do so, at least), but how should Christians involve themselves in education, no matter where they are enrolled? That’s a different question and one that Professor Jessica Hooten Wilson of John Brown University tackles in her Martin Center article, “Simone Weil’s Christian Approach to Education.”

Wilson writes:

Weil wanted to move students away from a focus on success and self-interest in favor of the contemplative love of God. Students who practice an openness to their studies will receive more than those who vainly strive for trivial ends, such as a high grade on a disposable assignment. In Weil’s argument, education is not a right, an opportunity, or an advantage over others, but a gift. How this approach would change Christian students’ attitudes toward required courses!

For Weil, the thing that matters is for students to give their complete attention to whatever they’re learning. In itself, that is sanctifying. While this may very well lead to high grades and success, those are not truly the objectives Christian students should strive for. She acknowledges that students often have a hard time with that idea.

Students often see their college studies as a barrier between themselves and “the real world,” but Wilson counters that if Christian students read Weil:

. . . they may see and understand the right use of educationIt is not for them to get ahead or to become well-rounded, but to discern the love of God. As Weil explains, the ‘barrier’ of academic work is, in reality, connecting students to the real world and, via their attention, to the transcendent.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

LEARN MORE
George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

Most Popular

Elections

Elizabeth Warren Is Jussie Smollett

Elizabeth Warren has a moving story about being fired from a teaching job because she was pregnant, a story that perfectly complements her political narrative that she is the tribune and champion of those who have been treated unfairly by the powerful. Joe Biden has a moving — and horrifying — story about his ... Read More
Culture

The Origins of the Transgender Movement

Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from remarks delivered at a Heritage Foundation summit. I’ve been asked to talk about the origins of transgenderism and how it relates to children and their exploitation. But first, I would like to start with a little story. Yesterday I was wandering around ... Read More
World

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Sports

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More