Three Great Weekend Reads
In case you missed them…
Why did Thomas Jefferson edit his bible?
What is the 1619 project really about?
Is there a science to wisdom?
Jefferson attacked only one copy of the Bible: his own. Not with fire, but with a razor. And not in an act of dizzy desecration, but with a kind of serrated—slightly crazed?—reasonableness. He cut and he pasted. He edited and he redacted. He called the resulting text—a collage of verses from the New Testament—The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. We know it as the Jefferson Bible.
The 1619 Project has emerged as a watchword for our era — a hashtag, a talking point, a journalism case study, a scholarly mission. It is the subject of dueling academic screeds, Fox News segments, publishers’ bidding wars and an upcoming series of Oprah-produced films. It is a Trump rally riff that reliably triggers an electric round of jeers.
The scientific approach to wisdom has started to gain momentum only in the past few decades, around the time the world started to face rising social and climatic instabilities. Some worried that this momentum was leading to an abyss. Picking and choosing different philosophical traditions and developing theories without serious debate between them placed wisdom scientists at the beginning of the 21st century at loggerheads: a field full of words didn’t yet share the same language.