Charlie Buttrey

June 12, 2021

On Wednesday, I blogged about my disappointment that the Princeton Classics Department (from which my father obtained his A.B. and Ph.D.) was eliminating the requirement that Classics majors establish proficiency in either Greek or Latin. I also sent an e-mail to the Chair of the Department to express my concern that it would make the Princeton Classics degree less marketable, and to suggest that the department should change its name to something like the Department of Ancient History.

Michael Flower, the Chair of the Department, e-mailed me back with an extremely gracious reply, and pointed me to this statement from the Classics Department regarding the change, which provides considerably greater nuance than one might have derived from the media accounts.

And I confessed to him (as I do to you, gentle reader) that when one of my teachers at the Boston University School of Theology recently suggested that I consider learning Ancient Greek, I broke out in a cold sweat. Some denominations require facility in either Greek or Hebrew as a prerequisite to ordination; the United Church of Christ, thankfully, does not.

On the other hand, if I were in my late teens and back in college, I might be tempted….

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