Humanity Revisited

Education for Human Flourishing Cover

Education for Human Flourishing

What Is Integration? began a quote series from Education for Human Flourishing:  A Christian Perspective* (Paul D. Spears and Steven R. Loomis, InterVarsity Press, 2009).  Below’s a section from Chapter 1 where Spears and Loomis establish their understanding of biblical anthropology.

We have argued that human beings are composed of a material body and an immaterial soul, and that  the soul directs the body’s actions ultimately through its rational capacities.  The development of these rational capacities through a life of study most effectively allows humans to pursue excellence, by which we mean actions that best enable them to obtain their most proper state.  Through education, we are able to understand who we are and how to seek our proper end, which ultimately leads to our happiness.  When we think about the life of study and how it can increase our own and our students’ happiness, this resonates with us as educators.  Giving others the opportunity to become happy is a rewarding experience.

In a limited sense teleology can enable us to help ourselves and others be more satisfied with our current existence.  However, classical teleologies are constrained by a limited viewpoint, that is, from a human perspective alone.  Classical teleology is eminently superior to a physicalist view of human beings; however, compared to a robust Christian theological anthropology, it falls far short. — p. 64.

Questions to ponder:  Spears and Loomis contend for the foundational role of theology in the anthropology needed to engage educational pedagogy and curricular paradigms.  Do you agree?  How does your anthropology align (or overlap) with the one the authors advance?

*For those with interest, check out the Preface & Precis of Book and Chapters.

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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