"Oh, you’re a liberal-arts major. What are you going to do, teach?" Liberal-arts degree holders are familiar with contemporary assumptions about the practical value of such an education. But understood in the traditional sense, the liberal arts have very little to do with matching skills to job. Instead they are about fostering the individual’s ability to reason and participate in society. The aim of a genuinely liberal education is freedom.
"The devil finds things for idle hands to do." We’ve all heard that cautionary saying in one form or another. But as it turns out, the Deadly Sin of sloth doesn’t apply merely to hammock-reclining loafers: The achievement-obsessed careerist is just as culpable. We are guilty of sloth whenever we fail to give God the time, attention, and resources he deserves.
In 1992 the Church of England voted to allow the ordination of women. The resultant furor prompted many to cross the Tiber to Catholicism. Among these were a number of Anglican priests (and a few bishops) who were led to pastor new flocks, as well as others who turned their influence to the laity. What do their experiences of the English Church in subsequent years tell us about the future of Christianity in Britain?
We know the story: Jesus transformed a handful of bread and fish into enough food for a multitude . . . didn’t he? A contemporary spin on a miracle described in all four Gospels offers a squishier version: Jesus taught the people—who brought their own food—to share with others. But the story of God’s miraculous intervention in the natural world has endured for 2,000 years. Here’s why.
"We run no risk of deceiving ourselves in considering a Superior Intelligence the author of all things, in referring to it those splendors of the heavens which aroused our thoughts; and finally we are ready to understand and accept the traditional formula: God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."
~ Herve Faye, inventor; chair of astronomy at the Ecole Polytechnique; Academy of Sciences member