Fall 2001

Trinity, Creation, and the Order of Intelligence in the Modern Academy

David L. Schindler

The Second Vatican Council insists that “all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love,” and that this holiness fosters a more human life.1

The present article outlines a proposal regarding the meaning of this call to “the perfection of love,” specifically in terms of the life of the mind and the modern academy.2


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1. Lumen Gentium, 40.
2. An earlier draft of this article was first presented to the Arkwood Foundation, established in 1994 for the purpose of studying the implications of the call to holiness for the order of intelligence. The Foundation is named after the Arkwood Farm in New Hampshire where the Foundation was first organized and where members continue to meet annually. The Foundation’s guiding presupposition is that the order of intelligence and the truth of things find their full and final integrity in their (intrinsic-analogical) imaging of and participation in the trinitarian love of God revealed in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Arkwood proposes to develop and display this presupposition against the background of the history of higher education, with particular attention to the disciplinary methods and curricular “logic” of the modern Western academy, as these operate also in the whole range of modern cultural life—the arts, law, medicine, science, technology, economics, and politics. Though this article served in its original form as a statement of guiding principles for Arkwood, the article represents my own view as one of the founders of the Foundation, and does not necessarily reflect in all details the views of all members of the Board.