28 December 2003

A reductionist renaissance man?

Writing about famed science fiction author Isaac Asimov, Richard Greydanus questions whether he can truly be called a renaissance man:

I believe the last person to be called a true Renaissance man was Isaac Asimov, and though I greatly admire that man, I would protest that title being given to him. Asimov had a distinctly scientific and sterile approach to life, a looking in from the outside, as it were. He mastered many of the disciplines — the various fields of science, psychology, sociology, history, Biblical commentary, and the study of the classics — and was religiously devoted to his materialistic and atheistic perspective, but for all his literary achievements his grand vision of things that are and that are to come missed the core of what people might call the human condition.

A broadly cultured person is often labelled a renaissance man or woman. But Mr. Greydanus suggests, correctly I believe, that, no matter how many disciplines one has mastered or at least dabbled in, possessing a worldview that reduces the complexity of God's creation to a single facet will cause one to miss the true richness of human life. If so, then we are more likely to find renaissance men and women, not in the corridors of the secular academy, where competing reductionisms vie for the loyalty of would-be scholars, but on the farms, and in the small businesses, labour unions and church pews, where ordinary people glory in the diversity of a divinely-created cosmos.

No comments:


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Contact at: dtkoyzis at gmail dot com