Saturday, October 5, 2013

Luther's Education Vocation

Gene Edward Veith’s article entitled “Classical Education as Vocational Education: Luther on the Liberal Arts” (in LOGIA) was able to explain Luther’s drive for educating the masses through the lense of serving his neighbors. He did a remarkable job highlighting the importance of teaching, sharing the two types of content taught, and explaining the difference in Martin Luther’s pupils from the standard pupil before him.

In the first section, Veith reminds the reader that Luther has charged parents to “bring up their children in the fear and knowledge of God” “on peril of losing the divine favor.” The Large Catechism makes a critical point that the responsibilities of the elders include mentoring and teaching the young. Souls are at stake.

With the Reformer’s view of vocation, man would now need to be able to understand both “liberal” and “servile” arts (or studies). To fulfill one’s vocation, they would not only need to be able to take on their manual job, but be able to understand “the skills necessary for a free citizen” to “express himself effectively” and “to conduct himself with honor and wisdom.” Both studies were meant to be an active part of every Christian’s life.

As Luther challenged his predecessor’s view of the royal priesthood of believers, he opened the door to all members of the body of Christ to learn. This included young and old, boys and girls, the servant class and fairer classes. All mankind was meant to know their Creator.

This article helped me see that in many ways, Luther practiced what he believed. His new (really old and less corrupted) view on theology led him to a new view on the way we should live our lives. Like in so many other places, Luther was wise enough to know that there is no reason to divide something that should be whole. He brought both kingdoms back together in the vocation of reshaped education.

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