- About the Authors
Join Ravi Scott Jain (coauthor of The Liberal Arts Tradition), Chris Hall (author of Common Arts Education), and veteran science educator Robbie Andreasen as they seek to recover the “natural” in natural science, the wisdom in “philosophy,” and the worship that flows from wonder.
Aristotle said that philosophy (the love of wisdom) always begins in wonder—wonder that often is kindled as we gaze upon the astonishing world around us. Yet today our science classes too often neglect the wonder evoked by the natural world and instead occlude and stifle it. How, then, can our science classes reconnect wonder to nature, wonder that will lead to wisdom, work, and worship? This book seeks to answer that question by helping recover the “natural” in natural science, the wisdom in “philosophy,” and the worship that flows from wonder.
Applying C. S. Lewis’s vision of “a new Natural Philosophy” and the deep insights of Christian thought to the understanding and pedagogy of natural science, the authors suggest a new paradigm that reveals God’s hand and purposes in the foundations and methods of science and allows students to see its sources, ideas, and conflicts more clearly. This book addresses a holistic curriculum, an incarnational pedagogy, and an interdisciplinary approach to teaching natural science in K–12 classrooms. It describes how three teachers have effectively implemented these ideas at two different schools. The authors share lessons for teachers on subjects ranging from gardening to biology to physics and for age ranges from pre-K to high school or even early college. Addressing big-picture discussions as well as supplying practical items, such as lesson plans, curriculum outlines, and book lists, this book will both challenge and reward those who have wondered how to think more deeply about Christian faith and natural science.
“This important sequel to The Liberal Arts Tradition unapologetically insists that the Christian faith and the classical tradition are supposed to shape the natural science curriculum. Taking their starting point in C. S. Lewis’s call for a new natural philosophy, Jain, Andreasen, and Hall boldly call upon teachers and students to adopt a holistic curriculum that reconciles the sciences and the humanities. Both deeply grounded and practically oriented, A New Natural Philosophy is an invaluable resource for Christian educators.” —Hans Boersma, Saint Benedict Servants of Christ Chair in Ascetical Theology at Nasthotah House
Ravi Scott Jain graduated from Davidson College with a BA and interests in physics, ancient Greek, and international political economy. He worked at two churches, received an MA from Reformed Theological Seminary, and later earned a graduate certificate in mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He coauthored The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Classical Christian Education, now translated into Chinese. He began teaching calculus and physics at The Geneva School in 2003, where he developed an integrated double-period class called “The Scientific Revolution.” In that class, the students read primary sources such as Galileo and Newton in order to recapitulate the narrative of discovery while preserving the mathematical and scientific rigor expected of a college-level treatment. At Geneva, he has also taught AP Calculus BC, in which the students strive to discover and demonstrate the “most beautiful theorem in mathematics,” and AP Physics C, in which the students encounter Faraday, Maxwell, and Einstein. Ravi has given more than 150 talks and workshops throughout America, Africa, and China on topics related to education, theology, mathematics, and science. He has served as a deacon in his church and is a founding Alcuin Fellow. He enjoys spending time with his two boys, Judah and Xavier, and his wife, Kelley Anne, whom he met in Japan.
Chris Hall has a BA in philosophy from Gettysburg College and an MAT in elementary education from Towson University. He has been a classroom educator and administrator for 25 years, and has served in public, independent, and classical schools during his tenure. Although primarily a teacher of science and mathematics, Chris has also served as a teacher of music, self-defense, and literature. He is an award-winning educator, a frequent speaker at Christian classical conferences, including ACCS and SCL, and he has helped to foster the renewal of Christian classical education as a national-level Alcuin Fellow for the past several years. Along with his professional pedigree, he is a lifelong practitioner of several of the common arts, and author of Common Arts Education: Renewing the Classical Tradition of Training the Hands, Head, and Heart, published in 2021 by Classical Academic Press. As the founder of Always Learning Education, an organization dedicated to helping individuals, homeschool families, and brick-and-mortar schools build robust programs, Chris spends his time teaching, learning, and propagating an integrated liberal, common, and fine arts approach to classical education. He is an active musician, gardener, craftsman, forester, practitioner of combatives/martial arts, and outdoorsman, and he enjoys both sharing these skills and learning from those with greater experience. He lives on a small homestead in central Virginia with his wife, three homeschooled sons, and a wide variety of plants and livestock.
Robbie Andreasen graduated from the University of Miami with a double major in marine science and biology and earned an MA in Christian Thought with emphasis in bioethics from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has taught 9th-grade biology and 12th-grade dual-enrollment anatomy and physiology at The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida, since 2007. His prior teaching experience includes teaching anatomy and medical terminology at Seminole Community College as well as sciences at two other local Christian schools. He was the upper-school recipient of the 2013 Paideia Award for Teaching, an award that recognizes excellence in teaching. Robbie has always enjoyed reading, but since starting at The Geneva School he has dedicated himself to figuring out how the sciences can cease to be, at best, the odd red-headed stepchild, or at worst the black sheep, of the Christian classical world. Since entering the classical education movement, he has become an amateur, in the best sense of the word, at history, philosophy, literature, drawing, and even art history. Every year his biology curriculum needs to be updated as connections are discovered and integrated. Robbie and his wife, Janet (a math education professor at the University of Central Florida), have two children who are both students at The Geneva School (but not for much longer). In his spare time, Robbie enjoys challenging himself through activities such as martial arts, training for and participating in Tough Mudder or Spartan races, and helping others become more physically fit.