Giants in the History of Education Bundle Samples
Receive all 4 books (Milton, Plato, Lewis, and Comenius) in our Giants in the History of Education series
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The Puritan poet John Milton is most famous for his massive theological epic Paradise Lost. He was also known as perhaps the greatest genius of the English Renaissance—possibly the best-educated man of his day—and as a major theorist of classical learning for Christians. The man who wrote the seminal words “The end then of Learning is to repair the ruines of our first Parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him . . .” (Of Education, 1644) argues across all his voluminous writings that the purpose of education is soul work for virtue as opposed to information-gathering for profit.
In this book, Milton scholar Professor Grant Horner from The Master’s College examines the poet’s powerful vision of a Christian and classical education. Trained at Duke University by Stanley Fish, the world’s most influential Miltonist, Horner approaches the text as a Christian educator himself, bringing the complex seventeenth-century texts into modern light for practical application. Addressing questions such as how to handle pagan texts, how to develop a theology of aesthetics, and why we must grapple with the relationship between pagan wisdom and scripture, this book will serve as a thorough and readable introduction to the complex thought of one of the Puritan intellectual giants.
Any attempt to encapsulate Plato’s thought regarding education is a daunting task. Plato’s views are many and diverse, and throughout history innumerable analyses of his thought already have been made. The attention that has been paid to interpreting Plato, however, is certainly not undeserved. Plato is one of the principal founders of the Western intellectual tradition, and it is nearly impossible to examine the historical development of any academic topic without, knowingly or unknowingly, addressing Plato’s views. Regardless of our final assessment of Plato’s educational thought, it is unquestionable that his understanding of education has had a profound impact on the development of educational theory and practice around the world for nearly two and a half millennia. The study of his views is thus of great benefit, both as a means of examining fundamental questions about the nature of education addressed in his work, and also as a means of better understanding the historical roots of the Western educational tradition.
C.S. Lewis is widely recognized as one of the great apologists and writers of the twentieth century. He is known for remarkable books such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. Lewis also wrote two fiction series that have enjoyed an enduring popularity: The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.
Additionally, Lewis was a prescient observer of education and a thoughtful critic of modern educational theory and practice. In this brief book, Lewis scholar Dr. Louis Markos surveys Lewis’s thought on education, as represented in books such as The Abolition of Man, An Experiment in Criticism, The Discarded Image, Collected Letters, and numerous other essays and publications. What emerges is a timely call to renew a radical liberal arts education that assumes a meaningful, purposeful cosmos and that will awaken students “from the slumber of cold vulgarity” and cultivate their affections for truth, goodness, and beauty.
John Amos Comenius, a seventeenth-century theologian and reformer, had so great an influence on Western schooling that he has been called the father of modern education. To this day he remains one of the most influential and fascinating thinkers in the history of education.
In this concise introduction to the work of Comenius, Dr. David Smith sketches some of Comenius’s central ideas, pointing to several important themes that summarize Comenius’s tireless work for educational reform. Readers will discover that amongst the literally hundreds of works Comenius wrote in Czech and Latin, many of which are lost to us today, he created the world’s first children’s picture book; suggested that learning should resemble gardening; and proposed that joy, piety, and harmony are central to the education of children.
In this book, Smith also touches on the key questions with which Comenius wrestled—questions that remain pertinent today. Readers will learn that Comenius is at once a forerunner of much of what we find and affirm today in education while also an advocate of some ideas that we would pass over. Smith suggests that we should let Comenius “be himself, rather than a forerunner of ourselves” if we wish to be challenged by him afresh.
This volume is an important study for any educator wishing to understand the history of education with an eye to recovering perennial educational ideas and practices that will inspire both the present and the future.
- John Milton: Classical Learning and the Progress of Virtue
- Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator
- C.S. Lewis: An Apologist For Education
- John Amos Comenius: A Visionary Reformer of Schools