What is a Noun?

In his Companion to a Higher English Grammar, a most delightful and erudite read by the way, Alexander Bain considers whether to define a noun by its meaning or its office, that is, by what objects a noun names or by what function a noun plays in a sentence. He first does admirable work unfolding the … Continue reading What is a Noun?

Did Augustine take notes from Aristotle?

Near the bulk of St. Augustine’s On Christine Doctrine discusses the role of secular learning. This is surprising because the text promises to reveal how to understand and teach Scripture. Augustine’s approach only makes sense if reading Scripture requires us to become proficient in reading the world. At the outset, Augustine challenges objections to sacred teaching. There have always been … Continue reading Did Augustine take notes from Aristotle?

The Poetics of Faith and Learning, Part 1

Euclid The study of Euclid’s Elements serves as an excellent example of the contemplative learning process. Proposition 5, an early proposition in the text, marks a turning point for most students, where they must not only identify a chain of equalities (something akin to a hypothetical syllogism), but do so in transposition. Whereas students needed only identify equality by imposing … Continue reading The Poetics of Faith and Learning, Part 1