Mike Bonn: Seattle, Washington, USA

Mike Bonn

I recently joined ISFP because I found myself spending hours, lost in the labyrinth of this site's philosophical connections. A descriptor for me is one who is a committed Christian with a philosophical bent and a social conscience. My intellectual odyssey includes awakening to literary and philosophical works as a teenager, then discovering and embracing Christ the summer between high school and college. After that, my spiritual/ intellectual pursuits can be measured in decades. In the 1970's I studied the Bible. During the 1980's, books by Paul Tillich in many ways satisfied my desire for a more philosophical appreciation of my faith, as opposed to other theologians who prescribed pre-packaged doctrinal systems. In the 1990's my attention turned exclusively to Hegel. At the end of that decade I wrote a book, Inspired by Hegel, as an attempt to demonstrate a method of meditative reading that transcends the use of traditionally religious writings.

For the first decade of the 21st century, now coming to a close, I studied the works of Dilthey and Schleiermacher. At this point I was able to read both the English and German versions of their works, appreciating their emphasis on a Lebensphilosophie , and the need to recognize that philosophical interpretation is both subjective and objective. As I prepare for a new decade, I have already selected Schelling as my new focus. During this forty year quest, I have hopefully demonstrated to my own children that learning is a life-long adventure. Several questions are always before me: where is the intersection between spirituality and philosophy, between faith and reason, or between reason and art? Can they be intertwined, or should they be kept as separate disciplines? How can we study one discipline, then connect it with another for a greater understanding of the whole?

Mike Bonn