The Aesthetic Pedagogy of Francis of Assisi ABSTRACT: Despite his anti-intellectualism, Francis of Assisi was an effective teacher who intentionally illustrated the life of virtue in his own way of living. He was a teacher in the sense that the Hebrew prophets, Socrates or Gandhi were teachers. He was a performance artist for whom drama functioned pedagogically. His life was not always meant to be an example to his followers; sometimes it was a dramatic lesson, meant to be watched, not imitated. All drama is inherently a distortion of reality because it focuses the attention on one aspect of reality. Francisâ€™ dramatized life distorts the importance of poverty, but this is a distortion from which we may be able to learn if we are able to imaginatively identify with Francis. For Francis, asceticism was a form of obedience, and obedience a mode of knowledge. Such â€˜personalized,â€™ lived teaching is the only way in which virtue (as opposed to ethics) may be effectively taught. Francis followed the same model of paideia as Gandhi, bringing together the physical discipline of radical asceticism with the aesthetic experience of a dramatic life in which he played the roles of troubadour and fool. Unlike most of the other Western European figures of the 12th-century who are frequent subjects of academic study, Francis of Assisi was not a scholar. He had the education appropriate to the middle-class son of a prosperous merchant, but he never taught in a university, never wrote a Summa or a Commentary on the Sentences, never spent time in libraries. For much of his lifetime, the Order of Friars Minor didnâ€™t even own a Bible, let alone any other books. Brother Leo, one of Francisâ€™ closest companions, wrote of him that he "did not want ... ...hton, 1923), p. 106. (6) Bonaventure, Major Life, VI. 2. (7) Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Garden City: Doubleday, 1959), pp. 17-18. (8) cited in Goffman, op. cit., pp. 19, 20. (9) Dorothy Heathcote, Collected Writings on Education and Drama (London: Hutchinson, 1984), p. 114. (10) cited in Howard Williams, Concepts of Ideology (New York; St. Martin's Press, 1988), p. 111. (11) Walter Brueggemann, The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), p. 91. (12) Brueggemann, op. cit., p. 104. (13) Leroy S. Rouner, "Can Virtue Be Taught in a School?," Can Virtue Be Taught?, vol. 14, Boston University Studies in Philosophy and Religion, ed. Barbara Darling-Smith, p. 142. (14) Rouner, op. cit., p.147. (15) Rouner, op. cit., p. 148. (16) Chesterton, op. cit., p. 86.
Major Problems in Mexican American History
Mexicans have been a people long oppressed. That is evident not only by the readings edited by Zaragosa Vargas in Major Problems in Mexican American History, but also by the the documentary Chicano!. The Mexicansâ€™ past is underscored by conquest of the present-day American Southwest first by the Spanish and then by the United States following the Mexican American War. With other countries establishing control over them, Mexicans have never really been able to establish themselves. Efforts were repeatedly made to shape them into what others perceived them to be. The language they should speak, the religion they should practice, the things they should learn, and the way they should live, were all decisions that for many years Mexicans did not have the power to control. This lack of power allowed the Spanish and the United States to take advantage of Mexican rights, labor and land. In addition, it also produced a loss of Mexican identity and culture.
Mexican American history began in the16th century under Spanish colonialism. The Spanish had a goal of conquest and colonization. Evidently, that goal was successfully accomplished because when the Spanish first arrived in 1492 Mexicoâ€™s population was fourteen million, but by the end of the 16th century it had drastically declined to one million. Numbers decreased because of the cruel treatment, forced labor, and disease brought by the Spanish. The Spanish eventually controlled most of the territory in the Southwest and over three hundred towns had been established for the purpose of control and conversion. The Spanish imposed conditions on the natives of Mexico that would belittle them. They aimed to convert them in order to make them re...
...heightened sense of self and group identity. The term Chicano encouraged Mexican Americans to take pride and interest in their history of struggle in America. It is when dealing with this period in Mexican-American history that the documentary Chicano! steps in for Vargas, better explaining the movement that occurred. Mexican Americans distinguished themselves at home and abroad during World War II and worked toward political, educational, and social equality in the country they defended.
...La Raza! Mejicano! Espanol! Latino! Hispano! Chicano! or whatever I call myself. I look the same. I feel the same...I cry and Sing the same. I am the masses of my people and I refuse to be absorbed. I am Joaquin...The odds are great but my spirit is strong...My faith unbreakable...My blood is pure...I am Aztec Prince and Christian Christ...I SHALL ENDURE! I WILL ENDURE!
Social segregation is one of the effects of the conflict on the people of Northern Ireland. The Protestants and the Catholics grew up in an atmosphere of tension and violence. They each received different education, each praising their own and condemning the deeds of the other. In addition, most of them live in separate residential areas. The Belfast â€˜peaceâ€™ wall is one of many walls built to separate Protestants and Catholics. The violence in the country also means that the Protestants and the Catholics believe that their own people were right and the other party was responsible for the conflict. Thus the young people of Northern Ireland could grow up without meeting anyone from the other community. This has led to the lack of understanding between the two religious groups. Thus it led to the growth of hatred and prejudices between them. With increased hostility, violence continued to rise.
The economy of Northern Ireland was also affected by the conflict. Prior to the conflict, many overseas companies were invested in Northern Ireland. Tourists came to the country as it was peaceful and attractive. As a result of the conflict, both foreign investments and tourism declined. The foreign-owned factories closed down when violence increased operating costs in Northern Ireland. The constant threat of bombings and high cost of security drove away large manufacturers in great numbers. People were afraid of their safety and did not want to come to Northern Ireland and investors were afraid to invest there too. This reduced the revenue (income) for Northern Ireland, leading to declining economy.
The conflict also affected Northern Ireland politically. Prior to the conflict, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organized several demonstrations to end discrimination against the Catholics. The Civil Rights marches pressured the Northern Ireland government to pass anti-discrimination measures in Northern Ireland. As a result of the conflict, the government agreed to abolish the unequal voting system. After Bloody Sunday in 1972, an agreement was reached to introduce power-sharing between the Catholics and Protestants in 1998. However this agreement has not been fully implemented as different political parties refused to share power.
Among all 3, the most serious effect is the social segregation. This is because it leads to many young people in Northern Ireland growing up with hatred and prejudice towards the other community. With the rise of prejudice, there would be no end to the conflict in Northern Ireland. If prejudice can be overcome, there would be better understanding among people of Protestants and Catholics especially the youth. This would reduce violence, leading to greater reconciliation and greater success at both political reforms and the return of investments and tourists.
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