The Magi as Models for Christian Scholars

6 Jan

Chris Gehrz, historian at Bethel University, has some fascinating points to make about the Magi on Epiphany day at his blog. See what you think.

The Pietist Schoolman

Pope Gregory the Great and Ambrose of Milan are the patron saints for teachers and learning, respectively. But this Epiphany — when Christians celebrate the revelation of Jesus, Son of God, to the world, and when many professors are starting a new term — I’ve been thinking about another, perhaps unlikely model of faithful scholarship from history: namely, the Magi of Matthew 2.

Burne-Jones, "The Adoration of the Magi" Edward Burne-Jones, “The Adoration of the Magi” (1904) – Google Art Institute

John Henry Hopkins’ carol can make us forget that the “three kings of Orient” were not political leaders, but “wise men” who gathered and interpreted data. So, without making any claims for the legitimacy of astrology as a field of study, I do wonder whether those of us called to academic vocations might not mine this famous text for some guiding principles.

(This is one of those days when I’ll stress that blogging is a kind of thinking aloud, or musing. I’m…

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