Thursday, July 17, 2008

Regarding the title

I'm pretty pleased with the title I came up with for this blog.


  1. Now Rare a place where something develops, grows, or is bred
  2. Old-fashioned a school, esp. a private school for young women
  3. a school or college where persons are trained to become priests, ministers, or rabbis

Etymology: ME, seed plot <>seminarium, seed plot, nursery, neut. of seminarius, of seed < semen, a seed

Seminary (along with disseminate and its derivatives) shares its etymology with semen, which I find rather entertaining on the immature level, but also interesting on a more intellectual level. Seminary is a place where seeds are planted and grow; the image naturally lends itself to the parable of the seeds:

"Then he told them many things in parables, saying: 'A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.' " (Matthew 13:3-8)

A pretty famous passage, and actually the gospel lesson we heard in church last Sunday. It seems that seminary is supposed to be one of the places where one can find good soil. I hope that's the case...but I wonder if the good soil is really a state of mind (or state of soul, perhaps) rather than an external state, whatever the etymology of 'seminary' might be. That is certainly Jesus' own explanation:

"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matthew 13:18-23)

In any case, I'll be throwing out my own seeds (disseminating) from my seed-plot. Hopefully, someone will be interested in receiving them.

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