What if education, including higher education, is not primarily about the absorption of ideas and information, but about the formation of hearts and desires? What if we began by appreciating how education not only gets into our head but also (and more fundamentally) grabs us by the gut— what the New Testament refers to as kardia, “the heart”? What if education was primarily concerned with shaping our hopes and passions— our visions of “the good life”— and not merely about the dissemination of data and information as inputs to our thinking? What if the primary work of education was the transforming of our imagination rather than the saturation of our intellect? And what if this had as much to do with our bodies as with our minds?
What if education wasn’t first and foremost about what we know, but about what we love? That actually is the wager of this book: It is an invitation to re-vision Christian education as a formative rather than just an informative project. It is an invitation to what we’ll call an “adventure in philosophical anthropology”; its root conviction is that how we think about education is inextricably linked to how we think about human persons. Too much of our thinking about education (including much recent talk about worldviews) sees education as a matter of disseminating information precisely because it assumes that human beings are primarily thinking things, or maybe believing animals. But I think both of these models give us a stunted, flattened picture of the rich complexity of being human.
James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Volume 1 (Cultural Liturgies): Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation
I’m looking forward to this.