In 1911 he left the seminary. He became the principal of Ferrer Modern School, an advanced school intended to educate the working-classes; he also taught there. Alden Freeman, a supporter of the Ferrer Modern School, sponsored him for a tour of Europe. At the Modern School, he fell in love with and married a pupil, 13 years his junior, Chaya (Ida) Kaufman, whom he later nicknamed "Ariel". The Durants had one daughter, Ethel, and adopted a son, Louis.
By 1914 he began to reject "intimations of human evil," notes Rubin, and to "retreat from radical social change." She summarizes these changes in his overall philosophy:
- "Instead of tying human progress to the rise of the proletariat, he made it the inevitable outcome of the laughter of young children or the endurance of his parents' marriage. As Ariel Durant later summarized it, he had concocted, by his mid-thirties, 'that sentimental, idealizing blend of love, philosophy, Christianity, and socialism which dominated his spiritual chemistry' the rest of his life.
- "Those attributes ultimately propelled him away from radicalism as a substitute faith and from teaching young anarchists as an alternative vocation. Instead, late in 1913 he embarked on a different pursuit: the dissemination of culture."
In 1913, he resigned his post as teacher. To support themselves, he began lecturing in a Presbyterian church for five- and ten-dollar fees; the material for these lectures became the starting point for The Story of Civilization.
Read more about this topic: Will Durant
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