Thursday, March 10, 2005

Michael Polanyi: Towards a Transpropositional Mode of Leadership Development and Spiritual Formation

In his recent Off-the-Map Interview, Alpha President and Emerging Church Coach Todd Hunter mentioned Michael Polanyi.

I was introduced to Polanyi a few years ago when I listened to Ken Myers' outstanding audio introduction to him - Tacit Knowing, Truthful Knowing: The Life and Thought of Michael Polanyi, one of Myers' Mars Hill Audio publications. (You can read a review of Mars Hill Audio's Polanyi Intro here).

Myers' intro does a good job at simply explaining Polanyi's epistemology, which comprised an implicit critique of modernity. One particular effective means by which he does that is by interviewing Wendy and Peter Moes, who are Master Violin Makers. The Moes explain how making violins is art as well as science. Wendy speaks to how making a fine violin transcends numbers and specifications. Peter talks about the specific source of wood he has found in Europe and how he cannot propositionally explain how to select the right wood for a fine violin - how he must touch and feel the wood to measure its appropriateness. The intro talks about Polanyi's interest in the master - apprentice relationship and how true learning occurs in a way that transcends mere proposition transfer.

His thinking has profound implications for how the church trains her leaders and equips Christ's followers. It also informs education more generally.

Polanyi influenced the faithmappers' formulation of transpropositionality, which was also influenced through the participation and thinking of the late philosopher Jon Gold - also one of the faithmappers.

for More on Polanyi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i might also commend to your readers Esther Meek's "Longing to Know",

--soupablog paul