Commonplacing: New Books

Two carts of new books rolled by this afternoon, out of which I have four to highlight. I shall give you two today and two more on Monday (I can’t be late for dinner tonight!).

I first heard Gordon McConville lecture during my M.Div. days when he came to my seminary to visit one of his former students, a former student who happened to be my professor. Most of what he had to say was above me, and probably still is. His God and Earthly Power: An Old Testament Political Theology, Genesis–Kings looks to be a readable history of the political/theology history of Israel from Genesis through Kings.

From the first chapter, “Classical Education in Colonial America,” of Michael Meckler, ed., Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America: From George Washington to George W. Bush (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2006), William Ziobro of Holy Cross College writes:

[Thomas] Jefferson contrasted the prevailing attitudes of Europeans toward ancient languages with those in the nascent United States of America. “The learning of Greek and Latin, I am told, is going into disuse in Europe,” Jefferson wrote. “I know not what their manners and occupations may call for: but it would be very ill-judged in us to follow their examples in this instance.”

He further discussed the political merit of historical studies, especially ancient history, at all levels of public education. “History,” Jefferson wrote, “by apprising them [students] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experiences of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every guise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.” — p. 13-14

One Comment Add yours

  1. Tony Kummer says:

    Paul,
    Are you a Southern student? I’ve added you to our SAID AT SOUTHERN but wanted to be sure how to classify your feed.

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