Note: This is the third in a series on developing a Christian mind in business school. You can find the intro and links to all previous posts here.
When people ask me what business school was like, I’m tempted to say, “A lot like a medieval university.” Unfortunately, that comparison makes people think b-school is dark, musty, and full of monks—which is not quite what I mean.
In medieval universities, the three subjects that were considered the first three stages of learning were the trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Our use of those terms, however, fails to convey the broader meaning they had in earlier centuries. In her excellent book on the trivium (Latin for “the three-fold way”), Sister Miriam Joseph explains:
Grammar is concerned with the thing as-it-is-symbolized,
Logic is concerned with the thing as-it-is-known, and
Rhetoric is concerned with the thing as-it-is-communicated.
These three language arts, adds Sister Joseph, can be defined as they relate to reality and to each other. Similarly, while the arts learned in business school are very different from the classical trivium, every course can similarly be classified in a “three-fold way”: