Houses of Prayer
by James L. Sauer
One of the more famous faculty at our institution is known for his remark that our college is not like a monastery, but rather like a boot camp for life. This is a good image in itself, calling forth associations of the Church Militant, the Pauline armor of Ephesians, and the battle each of us feels against the world, the flesh, and the devil. But considering this professor’s self-admitted liberal political views, it is strange that he should have chosen a military image in this age of mandatory pacifism and that the connotation of medievalism with all its rich images of piety and order should have been neglected.
Then again, perhaps it is not so strange. The professor in question is a sociologist. Poor fellow. Perhaps if his specialty were in the humanities he would have chosen the older paradigm of the abbey. Or perhaps it is just an indication that Social Scientists have always felt more comfortable in a society of Five Year Plans and millennial training camps. Social Scientists desire to manipulate the world, to get people marching, to assign them numbers, the plan away poverty, social injustice, and vestigial humanity. Classical Humanists merely want to remind men and women that they have souls. Christian Humanists might actually want to save some.
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James L. Sauer is the Director of Warner Memorial Library at Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Paula, live in Coatesville, Pennsylvania with their seven children.
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