Thomas Hibbs
Thomas Hibbs
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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What 'Crime and Punishment' teaches us about American politics

November 16, 2021  •  The Dallas Morning News

November marks the bicentennial of the birth of the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, famous for his sprawling and difficult novels of ideas. With the possible exception of the Harry Potter craze, Americans are not known for their fondness for long novels. Yet the works of Dostoyevsky have had an impact in America, stretching from high culture to popular culture and into America's prisons.

One of the greatest American novels, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, is influenced by Dostoyevsky's fiction, as is the work of two other Black novelists, Richard Wright and James Baldwin. Wright speaks for all three when he says that he found in Dostoyevsky an acute analysis of the "psychological state of modern man."

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What employers need that colleges don't teach well

September 17, 2021  •  The Dallas Morning News

A few years ago, when I was running Baylor University's student program in Washington, D.C., I asked a U.S. senator, "What do you need in an intern?" He responded: "Three things: writing, writing, writing."

He needed interns who could draft communication or attend a meeting and write-up a succinct, clear and intelligent summary. It isn't so easy to find. Writing is consistently cited by employers as one of the skills most lacking in applicants. Law schools devote a great deal of attention to the craft of legal writing. And there is increasing evidence that writing skills are valuable for STEM students as well.

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Rethinking friendship after a pandemic

June 5, 2021  •  The Dallas Morning News

As we emerge from the social distancing habits of the pandemic, the quality and quantity of our friendships will be for many a matter of doubt and anxiety. There are any number of articles these days speculating on what comes next for us in the area of friendship. Some are speculative: "What Will Happen to Friendship When We Crawl Out of Our Hidey Holes?" Some offer self-help: "How to Rekindle Friendship After COVID-19?" Some are bleak: "The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friends."

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The pandemic has crushed young people's spirits

March 21, 2021  •  The Dallas Morning News

If there has been a common experience of this current age of pandemic, it is the unsettling feeling of dislocation — temporal, sensory, social. It's a troubling human problem that appears to manifest in the young especially, and most acutely in teenagers and young adults who are in the most important stage of their lives for developing, understanding and exploring those very parts of life.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey showed that during the pandemic, some 63% of 18- to-24-year olds have experienced anxiety or depression, with roughly a quarter also contemplating suicide.

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Enduring Longings: Reflections on DuBois's Reflections on Francis of Assisi

March 18, 2021  •  Public Discourse

In a little-known speech, W. E. B. DuBois once proposed the life of Saint Francis of Assisi as a model of civilization. His was an exemplary life, DuBois pointed out, because he lived in response to the following queries: "What am I? What is this world about me? And the world and I—how shall we work and laugh together?" DuBois happily avoids the dominant modern celebration of Francis as a starry-eyed, nature-loving Romantic. Moreover, coming from a secular author turning to Francis, DuBois's speech opens up the possibility of dialogue, increasingly rare these days, between sacred and secular about the enduring longings of the human soul—longings whose cultivation is at the core of truly liberal education.

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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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