Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On Teaching in the University

Here is a moderately interesting article by Nicholas Guilhot with links to more arresting reflections on teaching in higher education, a common pre-occupation of mine. And toward the end, a good quote:

"in most countries where a primarily public higher education system is being restructured according to these principles, students don’t want more loans that will be used to pay for expensive Masters selling mostly a brand name and to mortgage an already uncertain future income. They usually want more teachers who have more time to engage with them, and extended library hours rather than a more expensive version of Courseworks or WebCT. As for those of us who believe that teaching should remain primarily a meaningful and enriching form of socialization, we should ask ourselves what we can do to meet their demands and to avoid becoming the tamed simians of the Taylorized academic factory."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

By analogy...

See this lampooning of creationist / ID thought... or is his tongue in his cheek? Oh boy.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Obama conservatives? Yes, apparently. Andrew Sullivan is calling them Obamacons. The TNR is on it here. First Things has weighed in last week with a piece by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, which "encourages" pro-life Obama supporters. "Encourages", as in : goooooooooooood luck!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

R.R. Reno on Traditional Marriage

Citing Doug Farrow's latest book, here is R.R. Reno's brief yet articulate defense of traditional marriage. However, I see problems with the reference to the blanket castigation the left's embrace of the state. Thinking only, for the moment, of important social teachings of various religious traditions, the Catholic Church included, it appears that the defense of traditional marriage is going to need further nuancing when it comes to the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate claims of the state in order for this defense to be credible. This would be my twist on it - again, a kind of left conservatism. Embracing traditional marriage while at the same time seeing plenty of room for the state as a central actor to promote or restore justice and equity as in the social democratic political tradition. This tradition is an excellent example of a politics of true toleration - a central role for the state practiced by various European governments for decades which did not - in the main - interfere in family life.