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Liberation: A Socratic and Ignatian Approach

Thomas E. Strunk Ph.D.
Mentor: Steve Yandell, Ph.D. (English) Thomas E. Strunk in the Colosseum

The Ignatian Mentoring Program gave me an opportunity to think about my Plato course (Greek 203) in a much broader manner than I otherwise would have done. In addition, I was able to meet with Steve Yandell, a colleague from another department, who gave me sage advice on structuring my course and often presented ideas I would not have considered. As part of my preparation for this course, and in addition to my readings on Plato and Socrates, I read widely from the anthologies A Jesuit Education Reader and An Ignatian Spirituality Reader. These readings gave me a stronger foundation in Ignatian pedagogy and spirituality. To gain a better understanding of Jesuit Catholic liberation, I read Jesus the Liberator and Where Is God? Earthquake, Terrorism, Barbarity, and Hope by Jon Sobrino and A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez.

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Service and Solidarity, Past and Present: Understanding Contemporary Identity Through Classical Literature

Katie DeBoer, Ph.D. (Teaching Professor of Classics)
Mentor: Michelle Brady

For my Ignatian Mentoring Project, I decided to re-examine the assignments from one of my
Core classes: Classical Literature and the Moral Imagination. As part of the Ethics, Religion, and
Society sequence of the Core Curriculum, this class is foundational to our Jesuit mission of
preparing students for a life as engaged, informed citizens. My version of the course also carries
a Diversity Flag and therefore aims to foster empathy with and appreciation of diverse
perspectives. The Greeks and Romans used different axes of identity than we use today--in
particular, James Dee has remarked on “the total absence of the kind of obsessive and corrosive
concern with ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’ that so disfigures our modern world.” Yet modern
identity groups often draw on misleading depictions of the ancient Mediterranean to advance
their divisive agendas. An understanding of Classical literature therefore (1) allows for
informed dialogue on these controversial issues and (2) showcases the culturally contingent,
constructed nature of identity. In keeping with the Jesuit legacy, two of my major goals in the
class are to foster reflection and solidarity for and with others.

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