Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Campbell on a Heresy Against Common Sense
Lectures on Systematic Theology and Pulpit Eloquence By George Campbell, François de Salignac de La Mothe- Fénelon, Henry Jones Ripley, William Stevenson
This is from a set of lectures delivered by Campbell in 1772 and 1773 at Marischal College. He primarily has in mind the view that, to become learned in Scripture you have to read lots and lots of commentators; he suggests instead that people simply read Scripture, study the Scriptural languages, research "the Jewish and ancient customs, polity, laws, ceremonies, institutions, manners," and develop "some knowledge in natural theology and the philosophy of the human mind." Then they can, so to speak, become commentators for themselves. The point, however, is certainly intended to be taken more generally, and fits naturally with Scottish common sense philosophy.