Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy: Inferno examine ideals of morality, friendship, and happiness in ways that still ring true. Aristotle’s model is centered around the concept of kosmos (order) and telos (end or purpose), with nothing in excess. Human passions and desires are to be tempered by reason; likewise, human rationality is made complete by proper desires and sentiments. Dante follows Aristotle’s ideas and brings them further, demonstrating that passion— or as he terms it, love—is a good thing so long as it is directed toward its appropriate object and in proper measure. In both the Ethics and the Divine Comedy, true fellowship is found among the virtuous, who order their passions and sentiments according to what is good. In order to develop a wise and gracious character—from which springs wise and gracious discourse—one must learn to love and value the good in its appropriate measure, and to approach every subject with a humble understanding of one’s own limitation. Continue reading Sense, Sentiment, and Civilization
This is the second post of a three-part essay on the vocation of a student.
How can a student serve her neighbor? You might immediately jump to the idea of service projects or mission trips. True, these are ways to love others while being a student. But a person can do those quite apart from being a student. So the question still remains: how can a student love others through her calling as a student? Continue reading How Can You Serve Your Neighbor As a Student?
This is the first post of a three-part essay on the vocation of a student.
What does it mean to be a student? Several responses can be given to this simple, yet complex, question. The place to begin with is the observation that to be a student—like to be a daughter or a son, brother or sister, friend or citizen—is to have a vocation. This is apparent in the fact that a university has accepted a person’s application for enrollment. In doing so the university calls the applicant, placing upon her the honorable and holy vocation of student.
It might sound strange to say that being a student is honorable and holy, but it is. It is much more than, as many people think, a path to a profession or financial well-being. Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be a Student?