What role do you think Christianity should play in how we learn and what we learn?


Christianity, and to a lesser degree the other major religions, has played a tremendous role in learning throughout the ages Indeed, religion and higher learning have been long time, albeit strange and often adversarial bedfellows. I feel that Christianity in particular has and should play a critical role in how and what we learn, having had such an impact on nearly every aspect of human endeavor and world history, as it continues to do so. The Bible, in addition to being THE fundamental Christian text and the first mass produced text and hence the most widely read and best selling book in history, but also perhaps the most influential, controversial, discussed, oft-quoted, and widely misunderstood as well. In almost every subject of learning imaginable religion has had a hand in, whether it is the subject of a painting or sculpture, or the religious influence, pro or con as the case may be, that affected some of histories greatest thinkers.


The clergy and other religious figures have nearly always been privy to advanced and sometimes esoteric knowledge that the common man was not. In Western civilization during the medieval era, the Church, along with the nobles had nearly sole ownership of not only the vast majority of the knowledge available at the time, but the means to achieve it. Even your lowliest village monk typically knew how to read and write only his native tongue, but Latin as well, whereas reading and writing skills were in exceedingly short supply among the general populace, and books were valued treasures owned privately by only the very wealthy or powerful. Even after the invention of the printing press, it wasn't until hundreds of years later that reading and writing became skills possessed by the general populace. Typically only the rulers, nobles, and clergy had not only the skills but the access to books and therefore higher learning. Churches and castles and manor houses stored books that were widely sought after and studied, and soon burgeoned into libraries and universities. Many nobles, monks and other clergy, those with the level of education, requisite skills and therefore inquisitive minds put these factors to good use studying, learning, observing, theorizing, and cataloguing the world around them. Put simply, this is the primary reason Christianity has been associated so closely throughout history with learning, especially advanced learning. The common man lacked the means, the tools, the resources and often the time and energy to devote to anything but survival. It's no secret however, that organized religion and higher learning have their parting of ways, often resulting in rather vicious debates of theory and dogma, and sometimes unfortunately in nasty displays of violence.


Despite this tempestuous relationship, or perhaps because of it, I still hold strongly to the view that Christianity is a vital part of learning and should remain so as mankind continually searches for knowledge of the vast universe around us, and perhaps more importantly, the nature of the human soul. Christianity provides a moral compass with which to best utilize and understand the vast amount of information the world may present. Knowledge may power yes, but knowledge tempered with wisdom of how to use it; therein lays true power. With the decline of the family unit in the 1960's in America, coupled with the increase in college attendance and an ever increasingly inquiring public body, many bright minds were left more or less rudderless in a confused deluge of information and questions. Without a strong family presence the hastening breakdown of the social, cultural, political, and world milieu no longer adequately equipped people with the proper tools with which to deal with the questions and issues facing them. Church attendance dropped, and many, especially the young, strayed from organized religion, sometimes out rightly opposing it. Unfortunately, many during this time made some exceedingly poor choices, personally and politically, which resulted in the sharp decline of American moral society. This is best reflected in our world today, rife with sex and violence and drug use and generally immoral behavior. My generations adherence worldly gains and to the carnal aspects of existence, it's instant self gratification and "if it feels good do it" attitude is