Thomas Hibbs
Thomas Hibbs
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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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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America has to deal with its past, but not the way we think
Is a persistent negative judgment failing us?

September 16, 2020  •  The Dallas Morning News

In the final, aching line of one of the few truly lasting American novels, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the following words: "and so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Artists have been warning this country for generations that there is no escaping the past; even if we could, the results would not be healthy for us.

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man discovers that history is not marked by linear development but is rather a boomerang that returns to plague the naïve believer in progress. The past comes back in different ways in different times to specifically defy and upend whatever we might believe is the best current thought.

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Bob Dylan's art is still singing to our souls

July 7, 2020  •  The Dallas Morning News

One of the pleasant surprises of this summer is the release of a chart-topping album from Bob Dylan. At 79, Rough and Rowdy Ways makes him the first artist with a Billboard Top 40 album in every decade since the 1960s and the oldest musician to have led the Artist 100 Chart, surpassing Paul McCartney, who was 76 when he led in September 2018.

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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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