Log24

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday February 1, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:01 AM
Kindergarten Theology

On the late James Edwin Loder,
a Presbyterian minister and
a professor of Christian education
at Princeton Theological Seminary,
co-author of The Knight’s Move (1992):

“At his memorial service his daughter Tami told the story of ‘little Jimmy,’ whose kindergarten teacher recognized a special quality of mind that set him apart. ‘Every day we read a story, and after the story is over, Jimmy gets up and wants to tell us what the story means.'” — Dana R. Wright

For a related story about
knight moves and kindergarten,
see Knight Moves: The Relativity
Theory of Kindergarten Blocks
,
and Log24, Jan. 16, 17, and 18.

See also Loder’s book
(poorly written, but of some
interest in light of the above):

The Knight's Move, by Loder and Neidhardt

Opening of The Knight’s Move —

“In a game of chess, the knight’s move is unique because it alone goes around corners. In this way, it combines the continuity of a set sequence with the discontinuity of an unpredictable turn in the middle. This meaningful combination of continuity and discontinuity in an otherwise linear set of possibilities has led some to refer to the creative act of discovery in any field of research as a ‘knight’s move’ in intelligence.

The significance of the title of this volume might stop there but for Kierkegaard’s use of the ‘knight’ image. The force of Kierkegaards’s usage might be described in relation to the chess metaphor by saying that not merely does Kierkegaard’s ‘knight of faith’ undertake a unique move within the rules of the human game, but faith transposes the whole idea of a ‘knight’s move’ into the mind of the Chess Master Himself. That is to say, chess is a game of multiple possibilities and interlocking strategies, so a chess master must combine the  continuity represented by the whole complex of the game with the unpredictable decision he must make every time it is his turn. A master chess player, then, does not merely follow the rules; in him the game becomes a construct of consciousness. The better the player the more fully the game comes into its own as a creation of human intelligence. Similarly, for Kierkegaard, the knight of faith is a unique figure in human experience. The knight shows how, by existing in faith as a creative act of Christ’s Spirit, human existence comes into its own as an expression of the mind of Christ. Thus, the ultimate form of a ‘knight’s move’ is a creative act raised to the nth power by Spiritus Creator, but it still partakes fully in the concrete pieces and patterns that comprise the nature of the human game and the game of nature.”

— James E. Loder and W. Jim Neidhardt (Helmers & Howard Publishing, 1992)

For a discussion, see Triplett’s
Thinking Critically as a Christian.”

Many would deny that such
a thing is possible; let them
read the works of T. S. Eliot.

Related material:

The Knight’s Move
discusses (badly) Hofstadter’s
“strange loop” concept; see
Not Mathematics but Theology
(Log24, July 12, 2007).

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