The Circe conference this year is centered on the theme of Nature. From what I understand it is not just about the natural world, but also about the nature of things: the nature world around us, the nature of God, the nature of students, the nature of the seven liberal arts, the nature of teaching, etc.
Andrew K. made a great statement in one of the conference planning meetings yesterday. Although I don’t remember it as eloquently as he asserted it, it went something like this…”if one doesn’t inquire into and show reverence for the nature of something, he is prone to misuse, manipulate and exploit it”. One can bring this principle into the recent discussions in society. On using food for fuel or stem cell for research: so we CAN, but based on the nature of corn or stem cells, SHOULD we?
Take an example from education – the need for understanding the nature of a child. If we don’t embrace the full view of the child being made in the image of God, we will have a tendency to view the classroom as a mechanistic, problem-solving endeavor to be performed by selecting the right techniques versus the harder, yet more fulfilling journey of investigating the soul of a child and engaging him where he is – capturing the experiences that he has already encountered. One leads to all the sterility of a production line…one leads to all the beauty of a lush vineyard producing fruit.
I would urge you to continue to contemplate the world around you, even the simple things, for the goal of understanding the God-designed nature of things.
Attending the Circe conference would be a great start!