We in Christian classical schooling champion the role that goodness, truth, and beauty play in shaping our curriculum and our culture. But would we ever consider teaching a class on them? The medievals did, and guess what they called it? Metaphysics. Goodness, truth, and beauty along with unity are considered the transcendental properties of being, an aspect of metaphysics. In other words, all of reality somehow exhibits these properties because reality is the creation of a good, true and beautiful God. It turns out that the medieval topic of metaphysics covered not only these transcendentals, but also such poignant questions such as the nature of truth and meaning. When we ask how we can defend absolute truth in a relativistic society, we must lean on metaphysics. Medieval metaphysics explored other deep questions like God’s relationship to creation and ‘the one and the many’ problem. It also provided a framework for the integration of the disciplines that is woefully lacking in fragmented modern education. This seminar will consider how to recapture the now lost category of metaphysics, so important to the ancients and the medievals, and explore how to teach it in our schools.
Ravi Jain graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree and interests in physics, ancient Greek and international political economies. He worked at various churches, received a master’s degree from Reformed Theological Seminary and later earned a graduate certificate in mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He began teaching calculus and physics at The Geneva School in 2003, where he has developed an integrated double-period class called The Scienti c Revolution. In this class, students read primary sources like Galileo and Newton in order to recapitulate the narrative of discovery while preserving the mathematical and scientific rigor expected of a college-level treatment. During his tenure there, he co-authored The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education. He has given over 100 talks and workshops worldwide on topics related to education, mathematics and science. He has two young boys, Judah and Xavier. After the duties of the week have been discharged — usually by 8:53 on Saturday nights — he enjoys his few remaining hours with family, friends and his wife, Kelley Anne, whom he met in Japan.