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Anti-Intellectual

One thing that seems to pop up every now and then through my studies is the idea of anti-intellectualism. This is a stream of thought that has appeared through the ages in Christianity that tends to despise what academia does to the spirit of faith. Although I want to handle this idea with care (unfortunately it is all to easy to become an extremist and generalist), I am finding that I have sympathies with the people who take this position. One such is a English monk from the Middle Ages named Richard Rolle. He comments:

And old woman can be more expert in the love of God - and less worldly too - than your theologian with his useless studying. He does it for vanity, to get a reputation, to obtain stipends and official positions. Such a fellow out to be entitled not 'Doctor' but 'Fool.'


I agree. But I would stop short of applying that to the entire practice - just a good bit of it. Theological academia can increase knowledge dramatically, but it is wholly separate from the pursuit of understanding the love of God. There are illiterate homeless people who understand this better than I do.


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