Saturday 17 April 2010

Creation and the University

I am currently in Houston to give the Earth Day Lecture at the University of St Thomas. I want to thank the staff, faculty and students, Sister Damien Savino FSE, the John Paul II Forum, and the Basilian fathers, for being so kind and gracious to me. Our discussions around the lecture focused largely on the question of how to implement the educational approach that my book tries to introduce and explore, and I hope to report more on these discussions in the weeks to come. One place where an approach like this is already being tried very successfully is Thomas More College in NH, where David Clayton has developed a "Way of Beauty" programme within the main curriculum of the College - this can be viewed here (make sure to follow the link from the main curriculum page to the Way of Beauty). David has also started an excellent Blog that you will enjoy.

My lecture was partly about the problems caused by specialization. Our knowledge has increased exponentially, yet as knowers we are increasingly fragmented. We seem to know more and more about less and less. But what is still possible for each of us to discover is how everything connects together. We might not know anything except our own field in great detail, but we can put a broken world back together, and that is the task of the new educators.  The role of philosophy is especially important in this, as John Paul II emphasized in Fides et Ratio, and Pope Benedict also explained in his wonderful lecture for La Sapienza University in 2008 about the university, the liberal arts, and the search for truth and wisdom.

The transcript of the Lecture plus ongoing discussion of the book and the visit from John Hittinger's JPII Forum blog can be found here, here, here and here.

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