By Elmer L. Towns
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89 Origins of the Medieval World (Stanford: Stanford University, 1958), p. 41. The noted historian Richard Sullivan also painted a more favorable picture of the early Middle Ages in Heirs of the Roman Empire (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1960). 90 Cited in W. Cathcart, The Ancient British and Irish Churches (Philadelphia: American Baptist, 1894), p. 206. 91 Undoubtedly Adamnan's book is the most extensive and valuable account of Columba's life. Ostensibly this volume is a reliable history if we are to believe Adamnan's own preface: "Let no one imagine that I either state a falsehood regarding so great a man, or record anything doubtful or uncertain.
Thus, although religious concerns constituted the major fare of daily life, manual labor was not despised. The program in Christian education on the island consisted of instruction in Christian worship and piety, memorization of large segments of Scripture, and study of the Scriptures in Latin. Columba served as the master teacher, teaching by example and precept. He not only talked about humility but demonstrated it by kneeling before strangers and washing the feet of monks returning from their work.
It is essential that the teacher explicitly under. stand the body of knowledge he teaches. He must hold that knowledge with certitude, meaning that lie can reduce it to the first, selfevident principles of his discipline. It is within this context that the teacher is said to teach truth. Further, truth is rooted in the existence of things and not in the mind of the teacher. He who teaches does not cause the truth, but knowledge of the truth, in the learner. 114 Although Thomas never specifically stated it, we can presume that as the learner grows not only in knowledge but also in intellectual virtue, so too the teacher manifests rigorous intellectual discipline.
A History of Religious Educators by Elmer L. Towns