It’s Monday, which now means we continue with reading Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying. We’re just getting started, and as such, after last week’s overview (click the “courting” link in the sidebar for the collected essays as they develop). This book is an anthology, a collection of essays. In the introduction, the Editors of this anthology (husband and wife Leon and Amy Kass), tell us the reasons for their project and rational behind collecting much of what they have collected. Up front it must be emphasized that (and their words suffice best):
It should go without saying — but today it must, alas, be said — that we do not offer these “old” or “great” texts as authoritative, or authorities. We choose them not because they are old or because they are “traditional”. The “great books” disagree too much among themselves to constitute a single coherent traditional teaching. Rather, we offer them in the wisdom-seeking — rather than wisdom delivering — spirit, as writings that make us think, that challenge our unexamined opinions, expand our sympathies, elevate our gaze, and introduce us to possibilities open to human beings in everyday life that may be undreamt of in our philosophizing.
Below the fold, I attempt in my crooked prose to summarize some of the points made in their introduction.
Is there a need for a book on courtship and marriage. After all, courtship is a dying institution and divorce is commonplace. However it is equally true that a good marriage is one of life’s greatest blessings and that raising children in that environment is the best thing for them and for the society in which they dwell.
We spend hours learning about a lot of subjects in our modern world. Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Geology, History, Languages and so forth. How much time and thought do we put into the practice of courtship and marriage. Into considerations of what “to marry” means, into the hunting, catching, discerning and keeping of the best life partner for oneself? The absence of such study in today’s academy and schooling might be considered the “dog that isn’t barking”.
What is love? What is Sex? Why Marry? These questions beg much more careful consideration than we give them today in the main.
Next week, we continue with our first essay on the current state of marriage and courtship in our modern world.