Before the Carolingian period, Augustine, in his passion for scholarship, was convinced that it was the duty of the Christian to learn as much as possible about as many things as possible. Since all truth is God’s truth, all aspects of scientific inquiry are to be within the province of biblical and Christian learning. It was not by accident that the great discoveries of Western science were spearheaded by Christians who took seriously their responsibilities to exercise dominion over the earth in service to God. Rather than seeing learning, scholarship, and the pursuit of beauty as being ideas foreign to the Christian enterprise, the eighth-century revival, following the earlier lead of Augustine, saw a pursuit of God Himself in the pursuit of knowledge and of beauty. They saw that God is the source of all truth and of all beauty.
Throughout the centuries, Christian influences dominated the world of art as well as the world of scholarship. The legacy of this period has enriched the whole scope of Western history even to this day. It is imperative that we in the twenty-first century learn from the pioneers of the past who did not despise classical scholarship, but saw it as something to be harnessed in the service of the kingdom of God.
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