Chapter School (ETW building)
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College of Divinity
The virtue and value of hard, honest toil are lessons worth teaching, along with a clear understanding of God’s universe and Man’s place within it.
The Protestant faith has always encouraged learning and the associated hard work of study among its faithful. Indeed, intellectual effort and its rewards are seen as being as worthy as physical labour, something that reflects the Protestant work ethic. It has also encouraged a degree of curiosity and free thinking about Creation, although within sensible limits. Curiosity is one thing, non-conformism and radicalism something else entirely, and hardly welcome in society at large!
Historically, the Protestant work ethic maintained that hard work and subsequent worldly success were indications of personal salvation. This, supposedly, encouraged the faithful to work all the harder. It is, however, a simplistic analysis to see that this lead directly to the intellectual, industrial and financial successes of Protestant nations in the 18th Century. The end of Catholic strictures against usury (money lending) almost certainly helped fuel mercantile and industrial progress.