In education, there seems to be an old opposition between the humanities and sciences. In the church, there also seems to be an opposition between the secularly scientific and superstitiously religious communities. We believe this polarization has been created through a lack of sound education seemingly available only to the elite in ivory towers and upper classes. We aim to educate students in critical thought and inference, teaching from the perspective of the trivium in classical education: grammar, logic (dialectic), and rhetoric; and the quadrivium. This historical concept prepares and empowers students for accurate decision-making, enhances academic performance and understanding, and reinforces personal confidence.
What are the Trivium and the Quadrivium?
Around 500 BCE, academia began to take more of a formal shape in Greece beginning with Pythagoras arguing for a mathematical and geometrical harmony to universal reality. Then came Socrates who arguably helped to develop Pythagoras’ persuasion by applying in his teachings to living a good and virtuous life. His disciple, Plato, furthered this idea in his theory of forms, arguing that the physical world we experience is a flawed echo of the perform and more ideal modal existing outside of space and time. Finally, Plato’s disciple, Aristotle, tutored Alexander the Great in logic, reason, ethics, politics, music, and more, all stemmed from the observations of the men who came before. Together, these four men led the charge in putting to language the self-evident and objective tools of sound investigation and truth we still use today.
Liberal Arts, in particular, contained seven schools making up the trivium and quadrivium. The Trivium consists of three humanity arts: Grammar, Logic (or dialectic), and Rhetoric. Grammar teaches students basic language and raw facts through memorization, rote learning, and texts. Logic teaches students to understand those raw facts they have learned in grammar through syllogistic reasoning and debate. Rhetoric teaches students to present facts in logically-formed arguments persuasively with confidence both in the material and in self. The quadrivium consisted of Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy.
However, by the Middle Ages, Liberal Arts began emerging more humanized losing the letter of the empiricism in favor of including other less intellectual tolerances. Prominent universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale adopted a more ancient Greek and Roman study of humanity for their Liberal Arts programs arguing that the ground work of a thorough education must be broad, deep, and solid; rather than emphasizing on vocation and technical skills. They still argue that such an education will instruct students on how to analyze information, build and evaluate arguments, and communicate effectively.
Bereans Aflame applies this philosophy in our writers who construct well-worded articles and submit them for scrupulous internal review before being published. Our curriculum in theology, mathematics, and music is heavily researched and practiced before being internally reviewed in the same manner. All resources proved by Bereans Aflame through our site, curriculum, or Noble Minded live streams are intended to equip students first with the tools to build critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills; second with open dialogue especially with those with opposing views to help dissolve extreme polarization.