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August 01,

Students reading

Thursday has been a whirlwind for the students on the 2019 New England High School Summer Program — and it’s only just begun! In anticipation of today’s excitement, the group had a (relatively) quiet evening last night, then rose for breakfast before heading over to Palmer Hall for the morning’s class: an examination of Fear and Trembling by the Christian existentialist Søren Kierkegaard.

Fear and Trembling offers several scenarios of the story of Abraham in an attempt to determine whether or not the patriarch’s faith seems rational. This morning’s conversations were spirited, and the students were intrigued by the question of what faith is and what it entails, especially as modeled by our father in faith. Among the questions considered were, “Where does reason end and faith begin?”

After the midday Mass, the conversation continued over a lunch of sandwiches. Students discussed the meaning of Kierkegaard’s claim that Abraham, by virtue of his great faith, could believe the impossible. Is this an accurate characterization of faith, as opposed to the harmony between faith and reason?

There is only one class today, in order to make time for this afternoon’s highly anticipated event: a visit to the Connecticut River! After lunch, the group loaded onto a bus and drove down to the river’s bank.

Check out tomorrow morning’s blog post for photos from the trip!