This heavenly city, then, while it sojourns on earth, calls citizens out of all nations, and gathers together a society of pilgrims of all languages, not scrupling about diversities in the manners, laws, and institutions whereby earthly peace is secured and maintained, but recognizing that, however various these are, they all tend to one and the same end of earthly peace. It therefore is so far from rescinding and abolishing these diversities, that it even preserves and adopts them, so long only as no hindrance to the worship of the one supreme and true God is thus introduced. Even the heavenly city, therefore, while in its state of pilgrimage, avails itself of the peace of earth, and, so far as it can without injuring faith and godliness, desires and maintains a common agreement among men regarding the acquisition of the necessaries of life, and makes this earthly peace bear upon the peace of heaven; for this alone can be truly called and esteemed the peace of the reasonable creatures, consisting as it does in the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God and of one another in God.
Saint Augustine, The City of God, XIX.17
In related news, I was recently admitted to Duke University’s Divinity School to study for a Master of Divinity degree. It total it is a full-time three-year program, which will move me from my current place as Latin teacher at Needham B. Broughton High School here in Raleigh. Laura and I will stay in Raleigh, and I will commute to Durham for classes et al.
While I have greatly enjoyed my time teaching the Latin language to public high school students, I do believe this opportunity to return to my own studies, specifically in the area of theology, is an opportunity that I should take seriously, with fear and trembling. This had always been a plan – to teach two or three years before returning to school. That was seven years ago.
There is much work to be done, and I am beginning to get my reading chops up for the demands the Divinity School will certainly require. I’m also beginning to work back up my Koine Greek skills for New Testament studies. Hopefully this all means I will be writing more on this site, as well as updating the Lectio page.
One thought I do have is that I will be entering a predominately Protestant institution, as Duke is still supported by the United Methodist Church, the denomination of my mother and my upbringing. I’m sure there will be some gentle competitiveness, as well as some natural nostalgia for the Church in whose care my earliest memories of Christ’s love and devotion came.
noun., a person who undertakes a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion.
[from Provençal pelegrin, from Latin peregrīnus foreign, from per through + ager field, land; cf., peregrine ]