A great resource for digging deeper into worldview is The Universe Next Door by James W. Sire, which my son learned was a favorite resource of one of his professors at Patrick Henry College. Some classical homeschoolers might be familiar with another book Sire wrote, How to Read Slowly.
What is worldview? Sire gives a complex definition that he "unpacks" through the chapters of his book. To me, to simplify things quite a bit, it's the predominate driving force that characterizes eras of history. We are in one right now, the Postmodern Era, which thinks quite differently from any of the previous eras like the Enlightenment Era, or even the Theistic Era. Because these ideas drove the thinking of the time, when we look at the historical events, the literature written at that time, and the art that is produced, they have a common theme, or worldview.
Sire's "unpacking" of worldview throughout his book is highly recommended reading. It becomes an effective tool for high school students (and older) to discern not only history, but also our present world. After defining terms, Sire explores each of the predominant worldviews typically studied:
- Christian Theism
- Eastern Pantheistic Monism
- The New Age
Sire ends the book with application to our own "examined life."
I've blogged about some of these worldviews before, in the context of some of our history and literature studies. I will be sharing more in the future, especially in how it relates to government in order to magnify our understanding of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.