Lindsey Brigham Knott Jan 22, 2018

It has been said that greatness in art is marked by the impossibility of imagining alteration. The story that could only have come right that way, the sculpture of which every contour begs contemplation, the music whose melody would fall flat were any one of its notes missing or moved—it is a quality that we recognize in such works as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, or Michelangelo’s Pieta, or the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

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Joshua Gibbs Jan 18, 2018

The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

-Luke 6:40

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Adam Andrews Jan 18, 2018

My high school students cannot tolerate ambiguity. This is why they have a hard time with the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf.

Listen to this famous pronouncement from the poems eponymous hero:

For every one of us, living in this world
Means waiting for our end. Let whoever can
Win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
Win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
That will be his best and only bulwark. (1384-89)

Joshua Gibbs Jan 13, 2018

In a systematic theology class at an American seminary, a strangely dressed man takes a seat one morning and all the seminarians sneak glances at him. His clothes are strange. When the professor arrives, he asks the stranger to identify himself. The stranger claims he has been sent from the future. The professor appears alarmed at first, but asks the stranger what he wants. The stranger says he has been sent from the future to learn about the beliefs of the past. The professor tells the stranger he may ask the seminary students whatever he would like.

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Jan 13, 2018

Do you care if you’re remembered after death?

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Joshua Gibbs Jan 10, 2018

We need our homes. But we have things, and our things need homes, too. Some of our things can stay with us, but we have so many things, all of our things will not fit in our homes. And so we have built little apartment complexes for our things which we call storage units. Many of our things live in nicer little homes than a great many human beings in the world.

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Joshua Gibbs Jan 2, 2018

From time to time, typically while teaching Dante, a student objects to the entire Divine Comedy and claims, “Good works are symbolic, but they do not accomplish anything tangible. We perform good works to show that we love God. Good works are born out of a love of God, but are not synonymous with a love of God.”

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Emily Dunnan Dec 29, 2017

We have all read the story in which the “classy detective with a sixth sense and an addiction,” accompanied by his “naive sidekick,” deduces that the “suicide case,” closed by the “bumbling policeman,” is obviously a murder. The author invokes “stormy skies” which reflect the detective’s mental state as he confronts a “secret from his past,” leading inevitably to redundant sequels, poorly parroting the style of the Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These well-worn clichés constitute the matter of what Annie Dillard would call dishonest literature.

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Kate Deddens Dec 28, 2017

In the first portion of our excursion through the sticky saying that we discover in Homer’s Achilles I explored the idea that we’re not as different from Achilles as we think. Hearkening back to Bespaloff (On the Iliad), we might at this point be able to recognize that while in spirit we admire Hektor, more often than not in action we emulate Achilles. For confirmation, we only need to survey our society in which appearances, wealth, fame, brash self-assertion, and power are our golden calves.

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Joshua Gibbs Dec 22, 2017

In 1982, Walter Warren Milliken was the third wealthiest man in the world. Oil magnate, news chief, captain of the steel industry, shipping merchant, beef and milk tycoon. Fifty years old, five wives behind him, Milliken was the only Western man worth more than a billion dollars who wore a full beard. He said, “The fullness of the earth is mine,” and ate raw pink abalone every day. For twelve minutes one Christmas Eve, he became possessed by a demon with an unpronounceable name. Strong as a bear in the arms.

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