St. Augustine on Figurative Language in Scripture

In humanities coursework, we often train students to first identify formula and pattern. Lists and examples abound—symbolism, allegory, metaphor, simile, personification. We insist there is greater meaning. We demand analysis. It’s true that we need to establish a foundation of both concrete terms and appreciation in our students. But sometimes this means of analysis turns... Continue Reading →

The Humanity of Horace

Son of a former slave, Quintus Horatius Flaccus writes of the best and worst of men in first century BC. Though he grew up in a small Italian village, Horace received the best of educations in Rome, culminating in a grand tour of Athens. There, however, he was quickly swayed by Brutus, Julius Caesar’s assassin,... Continue Reading →

On Romantic Literature

By the time Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818—it could be argued her Modern Prometheus was the quintessence of Romantic literature—it would seem the Romantic era was already approaching its zenith. Just 20 years earlier Wordsworth and Coleridge had published their Lyrical Ballads, believed by most to be the “the premiere volume of English Romanticism,”... Continue Reading →

Finding Meaning in Literature

In chapter two of Christianity and Literature, Jeffrey and Maillet lament, “Many literary majors…graduate without any clear sense of whether literary theory enables them to find…any truth, goodness, beauty or even any meaning in literature.” In response to this dismal assessment, indulge me a brief opportunity to summarize the three theories of truth—truth being the... Continue Reading →

On Speaking Well

In recent years, speaking well has become an educational ideal for graduates at many institutions. Able speakers can convey their thoughts and intents with both ease and confidence. Isocrates, the pre-socratic rhetorician, terms it “assurance.” Unfortunately, courses in rhetoric and speech aren’t always required, and a number of graduates would find it difficult to present, let... Continue Reading →

The Madman’s Search for Beauty

How do we reason our way to that which is beautiful? Reason is a powerful tool when put in the right hands, but it can be twisted and abused to answer questions that it was never meant to answer. It can be the metaphorical hammer trying to drive in a screw; it is simply the... Continue Reading →

The Truth About Poiema

In the age of the internet and social media, writers can be like bad cliches—a dime-a-dozen—and redundant too. Online writing courses are nearly as ubiquitous. So why pour another glass of water into a swollen ocean? Hi. My name is Scott Postma, and I am the founder of Poiema, an institute for faith, culture, and... Continue Reading →

What is Meaningful Art?

The philosopher and theologian, Francis Schaeffer, once said, Unlike modern man, the men of the day did not live in a splintered world. Art was an intimate part of life. What is represented had more than an aesthetic value divorced from considerations of truth and religious significance. Schaeffer reminds us that art reflects a particular... Continue Reading →

William Zinsser On Good Writing

  Good writing has an aliveness that keeps the reader reading from one paragraph to the next, and it's not a question of gimmicks to "personalize" the author. It's a question of using the English language in a way that will achieve the greatest clarity and strength. Can such principles be taught? Maybe not. But... Continue Reading →

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑