Age of Martha
a call to contemplation
the book I told you I was writing
We are living in the “Age of Martha.” Understanding this is critical for educators today, especially for those Christian educators and parents who are part of the renaissance of classical learning and who want to be good stewards of the liberal arts tradition.
If we blithely assume that we can just do classical education in the modern world without examining how things have changed culturally, we risk a grave self-deception. Man can get used to anything, says Dostoyevski. This is all the more reason to re-examine the form of our content, the preconditions of the classical learning we are so proud to offer.
This book seeks to restore our ability to see school once again as scholé. It compels us to reimagine school schedules, calendars, assessments, grades, pedagogy, and technological forms in light of this classical understanding of leisure.
IN THE PRESS
I loved and identified with this book ... I fully intend to use The Age of Martha as part of the required reading list in my new undergraduate program, the Classical Liberal Arts major at The Master’s University. We all need this book, and we need to read it leisurely.
Grant Horner, PhD, The Master's University
Besides a robust critique of what is currently confused with higher education, The Age of Martha offers useful counsel regarding more recent concerns, such as the cautious use of available electronic aids. This work is recommended with- out reserve, especially for parents and educators.
Patrick Henry Reardon, Touchstone Magazine: A Journal of Mere Christianity
I like to read educational philosophy...It was so good! I literally marked up every page. The call to a contemplative life, how to go about that, why we should allow time for contemplation, the role of education, and practical questions were all in this book.
Devin O’Donnell is the author of The Age of Martha, a book on leisure and education (Classical Academic Press, 2019). He is a classical hack, who came up through the manhole covers of learned society to find wisdom. He was born on the coast of central California, grew up surfing sharky waters, playing punk rock music, and playing soccer. But let's not hold any of that against him.
Growing up among the redwoods, the spell of antiquity came upon him early, and he was enamored of old things from his boyhood. But his education in the public school houses of unlearning almost drove the love of old and beautiful things out of him completely. Thanks to the voices of C. S. Lewis and others, he was called back to the old and good paths. He holds an MA in the Humanities and first taught Literature and Latin to high school students in 2004. A few years later, he and his wife joined some crazy families and founded a classical Christian school. Starting in 2017, he served for four years as Headmaster of St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy in Santa Cruz, California. In other vocational adventures, he was the Research Editor for the Bible publishing project Bibliotheca in 2015. He has also written for Touchstone, the CiRCE Institute, Classis, CLT Journal, and others. His love for beauty, music, and bookish things is matched by his love for surfing and playing soccer. He definitely married up, and he and his wife have four adventurous children who love music, stories, the ocean, and good feasts.