Saturday, October 17, 2009

Continuing Education

I don't know about your job, but at mine, I'm required to take part in "continuing education". In fact, several of my clinical certifications require 40-50 hours per year, so it's pretty much a given- it has to get done. One of the factors I appreciate most about Celtic Spirituality, was the monks love for learning. Learning for them was life long, and ongoing. They were not "one and done" folks; rather they were steeped in the classics. No wonder that many of the monks were sought out as teachers. St. Thomas was able to mine the gold of Aristotle because he had a Celtic monk who taught him Greek. The monastic communities at Iona and Lindisfarne were great places of learning, where the writings of the Greeks and Romans, as well as Christian and Church Fathers were all studied, argued and appreciated.

In our busy world today, how can one continue to learn? One cost effective and efficient way is through the products of The Learning Company. The Learning Company offer courses in both CD or DVD's on the Old and New Testament, Christian Theology, the Church Fathers, Biblical Studies and Mysticism, and many other subjects. Courses are taught by recognized scholars (for instance several Biblical Studies courses are taught by New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson) and include lecture notes and bibliography. Depending on which media you buy, you can either listen to lectures on your way to work, or watch them at home. Either way, you use your time wisely, and learn to boot! There are dozens of courses offered, and each month several of the courses go on sale. I have several of the theology and history courses and have enjoyed them all. There is a total of 56 different courses.
Here are some titles which may interest you:

The Catholic Church: A History
Popes and the Papacy: A History
The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon
Old Testament: Beginnings of Judiasm
The Story of the Bible
Jesus and the Gospels
Great World Religions
Lost Christianities: Christian Scripture and the Battles over Authentication
From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity
After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
Augustine: Philosoper and Saint
St. Augustine's Confessions
The Lives of Great Christians (which includes St. Patrick, The Desert Fathers and Mothers)
The History of Christian Theology
Biblical Wisdom Literature
Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Early Christianity: The Experience of the Divine
The Apostle Paul
Francis of Assisi
Philosophy and Religion in the West
Reason and Faith: Philosophy in the Middle Ages
History of Christianity in the Reformation Era
Luther: Gospel, Law and Reform
Life and Writings of C.S. Lewis
Jewish Intellectual History: 16th to 20th Century.

Perhaps in the future there will be a course on Celtic Spirituality. In the meantime, you can soak up courses in Theology, Philosophy, and History and a link to The Teaching Company website is provided here.

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