Monday, February 26, 2007

The Christian Studies Unit

I have just recieved some papers and a book from Richard Russell's Christian Studies Unit. It takes be back to my university days when I was discovering reformational thought and often ordered books and papes from Richard. There are a lot of people out there who owe Richard a lot for the work he has done promoting "reffie" books. If your not one of them, then take a look and you soon will be.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Visual Encounters and Artistic Practice

WYSOCS are keeping up their good work in this their 21st year. I believe this is the first residential course they have put on.
Here's some infomation:
Encourage students to develop their artistic work imaginatively in relation to God’s creation and their individual talents.

Support and encourage those thinking about careers in art and design through teaching, networking, sharing of resources.

Help students think through their position in relation to current debates within art colleges and the arts in general.

Drawing and mark-making, observation and interpretation are central to the course, which is suitable for students, whether engaged in degree studies at art college, or on pre-degree courses such as Foundation, Access or A levels. Recent graduates/art teachers would also find this helpful in relation to their thinking as Christians.
More infomation here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Vollenhoven's Problem-Historical Method: A Bibliography

Following Steve Bishops good example, here is a bibliography of English-language work related to Vollenhoven's Problem-Historical Method:
Brill, K A. "A Comparision between Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven on the Historiography of Philosophy" Philosophia Reformata 60:2 (1995)

Brill, K A. Vollenhoven's Problem-Historical Method: Introduction and Explorations (Dordt College Press, 2005)

Olthuis and DeGraaff. Models of Man in Theology and Psychology (ICS, 1978)

Seerveld, Calvin. Benedetto Croce's earlier Aesthetic theories and Literary criticism (J.H. Kok, 1958)

Seerveld, Calvin. "Biblical wisdom underneath Vollenhoven's categories for philosophical historiography" Philosophia Reformata 38 (1973)

Seerveld, Calvin. "The Pedagogical Strength of a Christian Methodology in Philosophical Historiography" Crosscuts and Perspectives Koers 40:4-6 (1975)

Seerveld, Calvin. "Towards a cartographic methodology for art historiography" Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39:2 (1980)

Seerveld, Calvin. "Mythologizing Philosophy as Historiographic Category" Myth and Interdisciplinary Studies (Pretoria, 1993)

Seerveld, Calvin. "Vollenhoven's legacy for art historiography" Philosophia Reformata 58:1 (1993)

Steen, Peter. The Structure of Herman Dooyeweerd's Thought (Wedge, 1983)

Runner, Evan. The History of Ancient Philosophy (1958) a partial translation of Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. Geshiedenis der wijsbegeerte I

Runner, Evan. The Development of Aristotle Illustrated from the Earliest Books of the Physics (J.H. Kok, 1951)

Wolters. A. "On Vollenhoven's Problem-Historical Method" in Hearing and Doing
(Wedge, 1979)

Vander Stelt, John. "Kuyper's semi-mystical conception" Philosophia Reformata 38 (1973)

Van der Walt. B.J. "Historiography of Philosophy: the consistent problem-historic method" in Heartbeat (Potchefstroom, 1978)

Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. "Lecture notes on Kant (1958-9)" Translated by Bill Rowe (ICS, 1977)
Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. Ancient Philosophical Conceptions in Problem-historical Lay-out, 6th Century B.C - 6th Century A.D. Edited with an introduction by A. Tol

­­­Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. The History of Ancient Philosophy (1958) a partial translation by Evan Runner of Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. Geshiedenis der wijsbegeerte I

Vollenhoven, D.H.Th. The Problem-Historical Method and the History of Philosophy Edited by Kornelis A. Bril (De Zaak Haes, 2005)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Amazing Grace

This year marks the 200th annaversary of the Slave Trade Act which abolished slave trade in the British empire.

In commenoration of this a film has been made about William Willberforce. Here's the description for the film:

Amazing Grace is based on the true story of William Wilberforce, a British statesman and reformer from the early part of the 19th century. This feature film chronicles his extraordinary contributions to the world, primarily his 20-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, which he won in 1807. Wilberforce was also instrumental in passing legislation to abolish slavery in the British colonies, a victory he won just three days before his death in 1833.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Urban Christian

A group from my church are reading through The Urban Christian by Ray Bakke. It is part of Grace Church Hackney's vision to be an urban church. Number Four of the five "Things we think are important" is:
The Gospel leads us to love the city. Therefore we will seek to be an urban church celebrating all that is good about the city and working to change all that is not good. We hope to partner with chritians already involved in social projects and to be a church where people are encouraged to engage with the culture of the city, particularly the arts.
This has got me thinking about what reformational resources are there for thinking about the city, and what kind of questions should guide our reflection.
Resources that come to mind are:
and Wolterstorff's "A City of Delight" in Until Justice and Peace Embrace
I'll have to think more about the questions that need asking.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Johann Hari on the Enlightenment

Johann Hari writing in the Independent on Monday appears to be rather enamoured of the enlightenment. The enlightenment philosophers argued that “instead of relying on divine revelation, we should closely observe the world around us and base a rational world-view on the empirical evidence we gather.” This is, so Hari believes, a truly wonderful vision. Those who oppose it like the Chapmans, whose work Hari rightly deplores, are basically in league with the “fascists and priests” who have sort to puncture and destroy it for the past 300 years. So unequivocal is Hari’s enthusiasm that he confidently declares that “Everything good about our world … comes from this project”.

This leads him to dismiss “post-modern” philosophy, of which the Chapmans work is apparently the “pure expression”. According to Hari “When you strip away our Enlightenment defences against psychosis” all you are left with is “immoral anger, celebrating injustice and cruelty as ‘transgression’”. This raises a number of questions. Can enlightenment thought really be neatly separated from all the bloody revolutions, fascisms, imperialisms and totalitarianisms that were a feature of modernist Europe? Was it really Hitler’s failure, as Hari seems to suggest, to “scrupulously adhere to fact, evidence and reason-based inferences” that produced the Nazi monster?

Hari is obviously not aware of the thesis of the dialectic of enlightenment where instrumentalized reason becomes irrational. Nor does he seem to realize that the kind of faith in facts and empirical evidence that he so applauds in enlightenment thought actually undermines his own moral critique of post-modernism. David Hume divorced facts from values and A.J.Ayer's philosophy of “scrupulous adherence to fact, evidence and reason-based inferences” led to the claim that moral judgements are strictly meaningless – a bit of a pain if you want to condemn the torture and destruction of human life.

So while Hari is right to criticise the facile rejection of the enlightenment expressed in the Chapmans work, he would do well temper his rather extravagant faith in the facts alone.

Speaking from Faith in Democracy

Jonathan Chaplin's inaugural lecture for the Kirby Laing Institute "Speaking from Faith in Democracy" is now available on-line.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The end of Philosophy of Mind?

Does this mean I won't need to teach philosophy of mind next year?

Ice Day?

No photos today, as I don't seem to be able to find any ice. Nevertheless, arriving at school this morning fully equipped with my football kit for the customary Friday-after-school game, I was rather surprised to find the gates all locked and notices that the dangerous icy conditions meant the school was closed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow day!

School was closed today due to snow, Hurrah! It doesn't take much to disrupt life here in London.