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The Education of Henry Adams (6) – Our Hearts Are Restless Until They Rest in Christ

Henry Adams ended his Education by considering the incredible changes he witnessed during his lifetime. As he reflected on how greatly life had changed, he considered how modern progress had failed to produce what it had seemed to promise. In his words, “Prosperity never before imagined, power never yet wielded by man, speed never reached …

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The Education of Henry Adams (5) – No Man Ever Judges Himself Correctly

Henry Adams spent the better part of a decade teaching at Harvard College. He was well-loved by his students and well-respected by his colleagues; by all accounts he was a very gifted teacher. Yet here is what he had to say about himself: “He [Adams] was rejoiced [at the gratitude of his students]; but he …

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The Education of Henry Adams (4) – A Good Education Prepares Us for the Unexpected

“No one man in America wanted the civil war, or expected or intended it. A small minority wanted secession. The vast majority wanted to go on with their occupations in peace. Not one, however clever or learned, guessed what happened. Possibly a few southern loyalists in despair might dream at it as an impossible chance; …

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The Education of Henry Adams (3) – Education is not Neutral

As a young man Adams got the opportunity to study in a German high school and university. This was his judgment. “All State-education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be most effective for state-purposes.” In other words, …

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The Education of Henry Adams (2) – Not All Hatred is Wrong

Henry Adams was from the north and his family was strongly and prominently in support of abolition. At around the age of twelve Adams travelled to Washington D.C. and witnessed slavery first-hand for the first time in his life. This is how he described the experience (note: throughout this book he refers to himself in …

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The Education of Henry Adams (1) – Deconstructionism is not Enough

Henry Adams was the grandson of John Quincy Adams and the great-grandson of John Adams. In addition to his family pedigree, Henry Adams was a prominent figure in his own right. As a young man he took part in a diplomatic mission to England that helped keep England from allying herself with the southern Confederacy …

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How (Not) To Be Secular (7) – The Shortcomings of Secularism

In sum, though secularism seems self-assured and confident, it is rife with weaknesses. 1) Secularism has been assumed, not proven. We need to remember that the view of reality that secularists take for granted is simply a view they have constructed—it is not clear and obvious. The “immanent frame”, the idea that the only things …

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How (Not) To Be Secular (5) – Effects of Secularism Continued – Expressivism

According to Taylor, if we identify religion as one of the core, historic faiths, then religion is declining. But if we think of it as a spiritual or semi-spiritual belief that answers life’s ultimate questions, then religion is as popular today as it has ever been. In short, religion isn’t dying, it is changing. One …

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