Thomas Hibbs
Thomas Hibbs
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Is envy at the root of our political anger?
Reading Dante 700 years after his death answers the question clearly

January 29, 2021  •  The Dallas Morning News

In the Purgatorio, the middle book of his Divine Comedy, a book organized around the seven deadly sins, the great Italian poet Dante describes the envious as the "one who, when he is outdone, / fears his own loss of fame, power, honor, favor; / his sadness loves misfortune for his neighbor."

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Winning the human trafficking fight
It's not hopeless, and Victor Boutros is showing the way

January 6, 2021  •  The Dallas Morning News

Human trafficking is an insidious industry. It is also an enormously lucrative one. Global profits run to roughly $150 billion a year with an estimated 25 million victims trapped in modern slavery, according to Human Rights First.

The question of how to fight it is one not only of raising awareness to the reality of what is happening but of how society and law enforcement should respond to effectively reduce, if not eradicate, the benefits traffickers get from their crimes.

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Can we pull colleges away from politics and back to wisdom?

November 20, 2020  •  The Dallas Morning News

T.S. Eliot once wondered: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" Eliot wrote these words before the internet, Twitter, and the explosion of digital knowledge. He was worried, rightly, about both the dissolving of knowledge into bits of information and about the vanishing of the wisdom of the ages that creates a synoptic vision of the place of humans in the universe.

It's a worry that comes to my mind as an educator and as someone who considers education a journey in seeking truth and in working toward understanding. The question now is whether universities can, or will, guide students in that search.

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Educating for an Integrated Human Existence

October 14, 2020  •  Public Discourse

In 1856, on the Feast of Saint Monica, John Henry Newman delivered a sermon on the topic "Intellect, Instrument of Religious Training." Newman, rector of the new Catholic University of Ireland, poses the question of the goal or intention of the Church in establishing universities. Comparing the Church's relationship to young students with Monica's relationship to her son, Augustine, he proposes that the aim of the Church is "to reunite things that were in the beginning joined together by God but which have been put asunder by man." The sermon contains a brilliant philosophy of adolescent development and of the intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation of youth.

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Ten years ago, The Social Network chillingly portrayed our new elite

October 12, 2020  •  Catholic Herald

David Fincher's The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, turns 10 this autumn. In its focus on the origins of Facebook it seems rather quaint and dated; yet, in its depiction of the new meritocracy and the peculiar character formation of the techie world, it is perhaps more relevant today than it was in 2010.

Aaron Sorkin's clinical and cynical script highlights the motives of envy and anger, the absence of love and friendship, and the naked ambition for influence, impact, money and fame. In myriad ways, the film exemplifies what Pope Francis calls the "throwaway culture" – a culture that sees knowledge and human relationships in nothing more than instrumental terms.

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Books by Thomas Hibbs

Cover of Rouault-Fujimura: Soliloquies Cover of Arts of Darkness Cover of Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion Cover of Virtue's Splendor Cover of Shows About Nothing Cover of Dialectic Narrative In Aquinas

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