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 →

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 →

Untethered τέχνη

  The polls tell us that we as a collective whole are becoming less religious and less concerned about sacred and holy things, at least in the Western world. At the same time we are becoming more and more entranced with science and technology, what the ancient Greeks called τέχνη (Techne). Most people walk around... Continue Reading →

An Existential Evaluation

If you have ever wondered why you exist, or if you had a purpose in the world—if there was a place in this complex universe designed specifically for you—congratulations! You’re human. Wondering about the meaning of life, and about your place in the universe is sometimes referred to as an existential crisis. But since it’s a... Continue Reading →

Groping For God: How the Greeks Anticipated the Coming of Christ

  In the gospel of John, we read about some Greeks who come to Philip and ask to see Jesus. Rumors and news about Christ have been circulating and these men are longing to make his acquaintance. The text says: “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So... 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 →

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