[文摘] 侯活士(Stanley Hauerwas)對基督徒大學新鮮人的九項勉勵

Source: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/10/go-with-god

Go With God–An open letter to young Christians on their way to college

by Stanley Hauerwas

前言:引用Robert Louis Wilken的話,Hauerwas說基督教本身具備不可避免的儀式性( inescapably ritualistic,由於「洗禮」)、不可妥協的道德性(uncompromisingly moral –「你們要完全,因為天父是完全的」),以及無須辯解的智識性(unapologetically intellectual )。

如果大學教育已經成為一種人人相信的現代神話和必須經歷的成長儀式,基督徒青年要學習的是將自身信仰的道德性和智識性活出來。美國當代重量級基督徒倫理學家侯活士對神學和高等教育關注已可見於過往著作,本次他在當代普世性基督宗教的著名雜誌《First Things》2010年11月號撰文,特別勉勵對信仰認真、在大學接受知識裝備的莘莘學子。


1.      勿從美國大學的淫靡、拜金、享樂文化,因為教會需要你們貢獻四年智性裝備的成果。對於周遭那些不信的人,你必須要能隨時堅定而清晰地向他們說明你信仰的內容和理據是什麼。

Undergraduate life on college campuses tends in the direction of neopagan excess. The contemporary American secular university is largely a place of unbelief. there is a group of unchurch people today asking for a sophisticated, contemporary intellectual makes faith impossible. offering the reasonable defense Peter asks (1 Pet 3:15) for may at least make someone think twice before he rejects the risen Lord.

2.      基督徒學生的本分是在主的光照下學習;別父子騎驢、本末倒置,讓義工、社團、學運、教會服事、交友等旁務取代了學習而成為你大學生活的主軸。

Situation today: Pastors consider preaching and evangelizing the most important thing. Teachers consider education the most important thing. Social activists argue for the priority of making the world more just. Still others insist that internal spiritual renewal is the key to everything. St. Paul, however, reminds the Church at Corinth that it comprises a variety of gifts that serve to build up the Church’s common good.  »

3.      廣泛閱讀經典才能使你建立有意義的朋友網絡。友直友諒友多聞,對要是胸無點墨的你,恐怕難以達成。讀書所結交的益友能跨越古今、不拘中外,並拓展你現實生活中間的交友視界和深度。

For the most part, our intellectual friendships are channeled through books. C.S. Lewis has remained popular with Christian students for many good reasons, not the least of which is that he makes himself available to his readers as a trusted friend in Christ. Francis Schaeffer also can be a point of contact—something to agree with or argue about. To a great extent, becoming an educated person means adding lots of layers to your relationships. Sure, going to the big football game or having a beer (legally) with your buddies should be fun on its own terms, but it’s also a reality ripe for analysis, discussion, and conversation. If you read Mary Douglas or Claude Levi-Strauss, you’ll have something to say about the rituals of American sports. And if you read Jane Austen or T.S. Eliot, you’ll find you see conversations with friends, particularly while sharing a meal, in new ways. Books are like the fine threads of a spider’s web. They link and connect.

4.      走出虛無主義知識論和後現代意識型態困境。基督徒的大學生活是有意義的,是為了大使命的呼召而學習的。

There is an insidious anti-intellectualism abroad in academia. Some professors have convinced themselves that all knowledge is just political power dressed up in fancy language or that books and ideas are simply ideological weapons in the quest for domination. But if you’re clear about your calling as a student, you can avoid this delusion despite Christians, of all people, should recognize that academia indeed contribute to the [re]production of power relations that are unjust,. You are called to the life of the mind to be of service to the gospel and the Church.

5.      非基督徒老師的學術熱忱亦值得觀察仿效。關鍵的是把信仰和學習當作志業一般地整合。而不是信得像一個一天歸主、六天歸凱撒或其他不知名虛無偶像的假基督徒。

A certain kind of Christian teacher can lead you astray: the temptation is to compartmentalize, to relegate faith to the heart and carry on academic work in a faithless manner dressed up by ‘professionalism’. Don’t compartmentalize. The best teachers for a Christian student aren’t always Christians. Studying with a professor who avows atheism may be their first encounter with a teacher who thinks faith is relevant to the intellectual life, albeit in a purely negative way. Many Profs also display a piety especially relevant to the academic life that serves the subject matter rather than treating it as information to be mastered.

6.      讀一些關於自己學科的思想史,會發現所有的學科背後原來都蘊含著一種神學性的終極關懷思考。這樣一層體認,在術業有專攻過程中會幫助你謙恭而不驕矜、博學且能通達精深。

Then American undergraduate education will force you to begin to specialize– select a major. The more you know about less and less should teach you humility. To combat a tendency toward the complacency that comes from mastering a discipline, it is particularly important that you gain historical insight into the practice of your discipline. Too often, though, students have no idea how and why the scientific fields’ research agendas developed into their current form of practice. To go back and read Isaac Newton can be a bit of a shock, because he interwove his scientific analysis with theological arguments. It should, however, make you realize that modern science has profound metaphysical and theological dimensions.

7.      學會神學性地批判和歸納自己所涉入的知識。別被學科所囿。英文不光是英文、數學也不光是數學。基督徒知識份子不但明白人類思考的本身的有限,更要學習挖掘人類知識建構工程背後的人性。

Don’t let your intellectual life be defined by your discipline. It is important for you to interrogate theologically what you are learning. You may major in economics, a discipline currently dominated by mathematical models and rational-choice theories. Those theories may have some utility (to use an economic expression), but they also may entail anthropological assumptions that a Christian cannot accept.

8.      與人生導師建立交誼。別光靠自己,你還太年輕。人知之也有限,學人的謙沖自牧是應善加學習的。

You need good mentors—men and women who are dedicated to their work and for whom a fitting humility about the limits of their expertise leads them to read broadly and thus become intellectuals rather than specialists.

9.      建立穩定良好的靈修習慣-回到第一點。敬畏耶和華是智慧的開端;敬拜、讀經、禱告、靈修默想,將幫助你在求知的過程中不偏左右,更認識主、與主連結。

Only a man or woman who has undergone a long period of spiritual discipline can reliably pray in the solitude of a hermitage. You’re young. You need the regular discipline of worship, Bible reading, and Christian fellowship. Don’t underestimate the moral temptations of the contemporary college scene. To worship God and live faithfully are necessary conditions if you are to survive in college. But as a Christian you are called to do more than survive. You are called to use the opportunity you have been given to learn to construe the world as a creature of a God who would have us enjoy—and bask in—the love that has brought us into existence. God has given your mind good work to do. As members of the Church, we’re counting on you. It won’t be easy. It never has been. But I can testify that it can also be a source of joy.

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