The Life Masonic
About This Show
A Monthly web radio show produced by The Supreme Council, 33rd Degree of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction through the support of The Master Craftsman Program.
Most Recent Episode
Episode 17: Rhetoric with Dr. William Keith, Ph.D.
Dec 3 13
In his play, Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw bore the vile quip, “Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach.” Which is actually a very clever perversion of Aristotle’s saying, “Those who know, do; those who understand, teach.” Now, here’s where we get postmodern with all this. Both quotes are rhetoric about teaching, and this month’s show is a teacher talking about rhetoric. I’ll give you a minute to let that soak in.
Anyway, here’s why we’re talking about rhetoric. It’s because one of the central lessons of the Fellowcaft’s Degree (and later in the Scottish Rite’s 13th degree) involves the importance of the 7 liberal arts and sciences, which are grammar, rhetoric, logic, astronomy, arithmetic, music and the most importantly geometry. It turns out that for centuries, that’s all education was. And, for the most part, was based on what the Greeks thought you’d need to know to be a useful citizen. In Masonry, though not specifically laid out for us in the ritual, I gather its inclusion is for much the same reason. Remember, the modern fraternity has its roots deep in the enlightenment – a time where a return to man’s natural inquisitiveness and rationality were all the rage in the new, educated middle class.
So when a former professor of mine (Bill Keith, Prof. of English at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee) told me he would be in town for a big communications convention, I thought – hey, here’s an opportunity for people to hear an honest to goodness expert on rhetoric talk about it – and not only that, but what way to kick off a great series of shows all about the liberal arts and sciences!