Universities, schools, and centers of faith are giving up on knowledge and selling out. What happened this past week at Hamline University indicates a trend in which an agenda other than the mission to impart knowledge controls what is permissible in the classroom.
Knowledge is not a popularity contest. A teacher does not share information to offend or pacify feelings. A teacher imparts whatever they learn; they share whatever they discover and pass it on–be it historical, natural, or, if it concerns faith, Scriptural. Whatever they have uncovered remains, no matter what the students say, feel, or believe. That is why it does not matter when a disciple turns away from instruction. Like a 14th-century painting, the knowledge in question was there before them and will remain long after they return to the dust from which they were taken.
The Gentiles who seek to grow their universities have betrayed a sacred trust. In the Book of Acts, the second half of the Lukan diptych, the evangelist does not allow us to speak about growing the church. Instead, he forces us to surrender to St. Paul’s gospel, hoping, against hope, that the word of the Lord, not the community, will grow and prevail mightily. (Acts 19:20) So long as our universities need students–or our churches need parishioners–there is no hope for growth in the knowledge of God, let alone basic instruction in art history.
This week’s episode is dedicated to the few and the proud–the teachers committed to teaching in the service of knowledge, not personal gain. Beginning with Professor Prater, you know who you are. May God lift you up and embolden you for the sake of the needy. Remember the words of the Lord’s prophet. It’s not you they hate.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Luke 2:25-26. (Episode 464)
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