- Has the balance/relationship of head, heart and hands been explored/discussed in some manner in your field?
- If so, what has been the conversation?
- If not, how might you propose research and writing on the balance/relationship ofÂ head, heart and handsÂ Â in your field?
The Head, Heart & Hands paradigm does not pursue â€œintegrating faith and learning â€¦ or working,â€ instead it recognizes the need for balance between the different components of what makes us human.
“Our minds cannot be brought into harmony with Godâ€™s designs and truth without hearts that are near to God and actions that reflect Godâ€™s ways.Â Our hearts cannot experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit without knowledge of God to guide us and without actions that reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit.Â And our actions of both proclamation and presence will wither without a theology to guide them and a heart to drive and sustain them.” (158)
In Chapter 9, Dennis Hollinger offers complementary material from education, social psychology, and philosophy. If you’re from one of these fields, I would love your thoughts on the research/writing of the people mentioned and thoughts of recent research/writing of the balance/relationship of head, heart and hands. If you’re from a field not mentioned below, what do you have to bring to the table?
- Education: learning is not all about just using the head.Â It is about engaging the whole individual â€“ what the learner is and feels and what he/she does.
- Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) highlighted intellectual, moral and physical as the elements of education in his pioneering work with children.
- Howard Gardner (b.1943, professor of cognition and education at Harvard and an adjunct professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine): “theory of multiple intelligences challenges the traditional view that intelligence is essentially a singular capacity that can be measured by IQ tests” (104).
- Social Psychology: the impact of beliefs and actions are intertwined.
- David MyersÂ (b.1942, professor of psychology at Hope College, MI): â€œâ€¦ we are not only as likely to think ourselves into a way of acting but also to act ourselves into a way of thinking.â€
- Ian Charleson (1949-1990) deeply affected by his role as Eric Liddell (1902 â€“ 1945) in Chariots of Fire (1981).
- Frederick Douglassâ€™ (1818 â€“1895) illustration of the well-intended slave mistress.
- Philosophy: our belief systems necessarily impacts what we can know and how we respond to what we find.
- Thomas Aquinas (1125-1274):Â Hollinger concludes by commenting, “Though a rationalist, he attends to other dimensions of the human person. Moreover, he allows for the heart dimension and our bodily actions to play a role in understanding and carrying out that understanding, as long as they do not contradict true reason. Thus, in a modified form Aquinas allows for the interplay of head, heart and hands” (171).
- Michael Polanyi (1891 â€“ 1976) notes that one cannot be without a belief system in scientific discovery or â€œobjective.â€Â Oneâ€™s investigative framework and discoveries shape what is pursued for observation and the interpretation of what is observed.
Next in series: Head, Heart and Hands Together:Â Implications and Challenges (Chapter 10)
*Drawn from an adult elective based upon Dennis Hollinger‘s “Head, Heart & Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion and Action” (InterVarsity Press, 2005). Kevin Milligan facilitated the class at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church. Note: See the first post in the series for more on the genesis of this study guide as part of a local Emerging Scholars Network partnership (South Central Scholars Network PA FB and Christian Scholar Series).
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!