9 September 2019

Wisdom and Schooling

This course explores a biblical view of wisdom as an alternative to the theory into practice paradigm, which has dominated the way in which schooling is conducted at virtually all levels. According to this paradigm, schooling is the process by which theoretical insight and abstract academic understanding lay the foundations for an abundant life. The Christian story, however, is that walking in the way of Jesus is truth and life. The challenge to the Christian school and the Christian teacher is how to be in the world of schooling while not being of it.
                                                           
Wisdom is not something that one possesses in abstraction from the actual living of a wise life. Wisdom is always for the moment, which is why James (Ja 1:5) encourages us to ask God for wisdom in any situation in which we lack it. It is not a collection of timeless propositions that we merely have to apply to a situation, as Job’s companions believed. Wisdom is always ‘knowledge for’, as well as a matter of ‘knowing when’: it is concretely and temporally situated.

Wisdom can be defined as the ‘realisation of value’, in the two senses of realisation: understanding and actualising, or (in Hebraic language) hearing and doing. On this view, theoretical insight is one form of value among many that are to be realised. It is not to be denigrated, but it is by no means the primary or most important form. And the limitation of theory is that, in itself, it is powerless to change what we traditionally call ‘practice’.

ICSD 120306/220306 F19
Dr. Doug Blomberg, and Joonyong Um
Distance (Online)

(MWS, MA)

Syllabus