Monday, July 7, 2014

Aristotle as Devil

Dear Blog:  I have become too lazy and/or busy to blog and I never come to the desk to type anymore.  Sorry.  I wanted to finish blogging through Chesterton's "Heretics" and "Orthodoxy".  And I wanted to blog through Applebaum's book on the Iron Curtain.  And now I am reading Oberman's books on Luther, presently "Luther, Man between God and the Devil".)  So much about all that.  Summer is beautiful now with so much to catch up on.  -- We have rain and we have sunshine.  Everything is green and thriving, and very, very beautiful.  My garden is an oasis and a paradise, even if small. 

A quote from the Oberman re: the training in scholastic disputations.

"According to the traditional curriculum the last two years were to be spent in special seminars and disputations, interpreting and debating important works of Aristotle and dealing with the quadrivium--music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. Demands on the students during these final years were extremely high. They lived together in what might be called university residence hall, under rigorous supervision, and found little time for relaxation during the short breaks in their nearly monastic daily rhythm.  At the age of twenty-one, one year earlier than prescribed by the university statutes, Luther passed his master of arts examination and had now acquired a comprehensive view of the scholarly disciplines."

"But quick-wittedness and rhetorical skills were not enough. Academic training strove to equip students with the general ability to test the proofs and conclusions presented in various areas of scholarship and subject them to systematic scrutiny. Reason, experience, and in theological questions, revelation formed the basis of true knowledge, and all findings were to be ordered intelligibly with the help of logical methods. Thus later work in specialized fields was built on a common educational foundation. The master of arts examination was required for all students except the monks. then came the next step--preparation for one's future profession as a theologian, lawyer, or physician." (Oberman, Man Between God and the Devil, p. 114.)

--What we see is that the foundation of a higher education rested on the training in Aristotle and the quadrivium.  From there one could go on to further studies.  Luther later said that Aristotle, if he had not been a real living man could be seen as the devil himself.   Luther at some point in his early career also taught Aristotle's moral philosophy, as a professor in university.  So we see that he knows very well what he is speaking of.  But I find, at this point, that I don't have a clue as to what he is talking about.  It has also been a long time since I last read the disputation against scholastic theology.  It could be time to review it. 

So much for today.

Front Cover

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