When human beings want to tell stories, we often speak tales of the warrior. Whether one reads about Saul and David, the holy warlords of ancient Israel, or about Diomedes and Ajax and Achilles of the Achaians and Hector of Troy, or the Samurai or the Shao-Lin or the Zulu or the Berserkers, what surfaces over and over is a sense that these people, who deal their deadly wares in the face of murderous enemies, might have something to teach us about being human beings. Even Christian theologian Stanley Hauerwas, famous for his insistence on nonviolence for the disciple of Jesus, points to Marine boot camp, unlike the modern Protestant seminary, as a place where real moral formation happens in the late-modern America.
Dr. Charles Hackney, Associate Professor of Psychology at Briercrest College in Saskatchewan, explores in greater details the ways in which warrior training develops human virtues, and in his 2010 book Martial Virtues: Lessons in Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion from the World’s Greatest Warriors, he investigates the ways that martial arts schools from West and East claim to and in fact do develop human potential for excellence. Christian Humanist Profiles welcomes Dr. Hackney as this episode’s special guest. Thanks for listening!