“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me…” Matthew 11:29
Hugh of St. Victor (ca. 1096-1141)
“Out of all the sciences…the ancients, in their studies, especially selected seven to be mastered by those who were to be educated. These seven they considered so to excel all the rest in usefulness that anyone who had been thoroughly schooled in them might afterward come to a knowledge of the others by his own inquiry and effort rather than by listening to a teacher. For these, one might say, constitute the best instruments, the best rudiments, by which the way is prepared for the mind’s complete knowledge…”
Hugh is referring, of course, to the trivium and quadrivium, those seven courses of medieval learning considered to be essential for all other learning. In Didascalicon, as we shall see, Hugh’s real passion is to encourage deeper study of Scripture. But he knows that unless we can read, reason, write, converse, and understand the broad scope of the sciences, we won’t be as skilled as we should be in handling the Word of God. So he encourages study in these basic areas as good background and preparation for the study of Scripture. Is there enough general reading and study, enough of these best rudiments, in your own plan for personal and professional growth?
Which areas of general reading and study are part of your plan for personal and professional growth? How do you think these can help you to be a better student of God’s Word?
For some great insights to how to improve our minds, order James Sire’s book, Habits of the Mind, from our online store.
Pastor to Pastor brings the insights of great servants of God from the past to pastors in our own day, to link our ministries with theirs in the grand tradition of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.