Cambridge poet and theologian, Revd Dr Malcolm Guite, was the Lenten visitor to Marlborough for the week of March 6th. His generous spirit made an immediate impression on both beaks and pupils.
With verve and creativity, he gave his thought, argument and wisdom to a variety of College settings. In Chapel, Dr Guite used the poetry of Seamus Heaney (the Rain Stick) to remind pupils of the possibility of perceiving meaning in the mundane. The English Department and scholars were further beneficiaries of Dr Guite’s poetic expertise; Upper Sixth classes had invigorating sessions on the metaphysical poetry of John Donne; scholars had a Meet the Poet session to discuss poetic theory. On Monday 7th March, the Philosophy Society met for a lecture on Can we know God and if so, how? Thoughts on Reason, Imagination and Revelation. Follow up sessions for Upper Sixth Philosophers then followed during the week and were very well received, each acting as a gateway to the beckoning coming of university.
It was a perfect Lenten feast of ideas and as Easter draws nearer, we have had an excellent chance to explore and ponder some of the greater mysteries.
Responses from Upper Sixth pupils
Dr Guite was highly impressive, providing perhaps the most convincing account of a Christian belief system that we have encountered in recent years. He delved into the conflict between imagination and reason through an exploration of C.S Lewis’ ‘two hemispheres of the mind’ in which a fundamental split cutting through the middle of our culture is explored through metaphor – with Christ as the reconciler. One of the most striking moments of Dr Guite’s session was his discussion of the problem of evil. Dr Guite proposed that by simply using the phrase ‘problem of evil’, all important ground has already been conceded, as to have a problem of evil is the presupposition that there ought to be good – a concept which cannot be materially founded, which renders it a meaningless argument in the atheist tradition.
Jade G and Eilidh M, Philosophy Society Liaisons
Dr Guite’s visit was a delight for the Upper Sixth: to interact with a highly knowledgeable and engaging academic is a rare opportunity that we were honoured to experience. Dr Guite’s visit to Marlborough, consisting of talks, Chapel services and Q&A lessons, enabled English Literature and Philosophy pupils to engage with our courses through alternative readings provided by a top-end enthusiast of the subjects. His visit has benefited us extensively and we would like to thank him greatly for his time and the inspiration he has brought upon us.
Scarlet T (U6)