Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Contemplation and Catholic Education: on Rik Van Nieuwenhove and Simone Weil

I came across a great article published recently in The Journal of Catholic Higher Education (Villanova U.) that argues that the distinct identity of Catholic education lies in religious contemplation. The author, an Irish professor named Rik Van Nieuwenhove, draws heavily on one of my favorite essays, Simone Weil’s “Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God.” I would upload a .pdf of the article, but it I imagine it wouldn’t be kosher, since Villanova doesn’t make it available online. Thankfully, the author has posted the piece to his academia.edu profile, where you can view the article or even download it if you sign up for a free account, which I did.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Follow me on Twitter

Say it ain’t so! After much back-and-forth between the angel and devil on my shoulders, I decided to join the wide world of Twitter (I’m not sure who won the argument…but I don’t really think I want to know).

I don’t plan to do much original Twittering, but to use the medium to give more visibility to this blog and my writing in general. I will Tweet out new posts, and probably some old ones, too, so if that is your platform of choice, I invite you to follow me: @Mike_StThomas

And you can always contact me the (relatively) old-fashioned way: thecatholiclitclassroom@gmail.com

Monday, April 3, 2017

More thoughts on Nicholson Baker's Substitute: Going to School with a Thousand Kids

Commonweal Magazine’s latest issue contains my review of Nicholson Baker’s Substitute, in which the best-selling novelist observes classroom life in your everyday American public school. You can read the piece here. I found the book to be a painfully accurate depiction of life on the ground in our educational technocracy. In this post I'd like to include some observations that I didn’t have the space or time for in the review itself, not the least of which is the book’s relevance to Catholic educators.