Thursday, February 17, 2011

One by One

Book Club Moderator and Virtue-Ordering Mother-Extraordinaire, Cindy asserted yesterday that poetic knowledge trumps the educational trick and better prepares the student for life.

While I dont believe Cindy thinks that math/science should be ignored in the curriculum, I do want to challenge all of us to remember that the poetic exists in those realms as well.

As we read through Anthony Esolen's methodologies (link to Mirus review) for reviving our own imaginations (the only way to keep from destroying those of our children) allow me set before you the advice of one who wielding his weapon did do battle with the times and can help us sharpen our own swords.

Meet the Sage of Mecosta ~ Russell Amos Kirk.

In his autobiography, The Sword of the Imagination, Dr Kirk explains that there is not one sword of imagination, but five!  The historical, political, moral, poetic, and prophetic.

If I may borrow from Gleaves Whitney's ISI book review,

  • Leaders need the historical imagination to understand what humankind has been.
  • They need the political imagination to know what humankind can do in community.
  • They need the moral imagination to discern what the human person ought to be.
  • They need the poetic imagination to perceive how human beings can best use their creative energies.
  • They need the prophetic imagination to divine what human beings will be, given the choices they make.

Cindy's blog name Ordo Amoris (ordering of affections) is a throwback to Augustine's definition of virtue, whick Kirk addresses as well.

This ordering or prioritizing (my word) shows itself in different civilizations which Kirk traced in his book, Roots of American Order.  We Americans have been privileged to inherit the ordering of the soul from the Hebrews, the ordering of the minds from the ancient Greeks, the ordering of polity from the Romans, the ordering of law from the English, and last but most important, the ordering of LOVE from Christ (Christians).

Now with that background, let's be on our mission of redeeming the time with our young (potential) leaders.

What are yours reading today?

Photo Credit: Julie Robison
Family Heirloom Sword
situated above the mantel at
Piety Hill, Mecosta, MI
home of Russell and Annette Kirk

Dr John Willson (seated before the fireplace in above photo) is giving a short lecture about this knight errant to Hillsdale College students who made a pilgrimmage Kirk's ancestral home last Spring.

Today, however, here's a link to what you should be reading: Dr Willson's exhortation for recovery, Was There a Founding?,at e-zine, Imaginative Conservative.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Dana.

    This only makes me wish my library had some Kirk. Might be time to ILL it.