28 July 2001

giussani on education

Yesterday I received a review copy of The Risk of Education (Crossroad 2001), by Luigi Giussani, which I hope to be able to review for a magazine or journal, though I've not yet read it. From what I can tell skimming the contents and introduction, he emphasizes three moments in education.

First, rootedness in a living tradition, as a way of encountering the past and as a guard against unbridled innovation or skepticism.

Second, the expression of that tradition in the lived faith and experiences of a teacher, embedded within a larger community of faith, functioning to justify a certain ideal of what it means to be human in the image of Christ.

Third, the necessity of critique, allowing the lived tradition to be cross-examined in light of the God-given longings of the human heart, a step that must be open to real risk on the part of the teacher in order for there to be that possibility of a mature embrace of Christ on the part of the student.

I'm interested to see how Fr. Giussani fills in the details, especially in light of his many years as a teacher of young people in Milan.

Luigi Giussani is the founder of the international Roman Catholic lay movement, Communion and Liberation and the author of many books, including his Per Corso, a trilogy that constitutes a powerful apologetic for the existence of God, the person and work of Christ, and the need for the community of the church. I wrote a review of the first book of that trilogy, The Religious Sense, in the Fall 1998 issue of re:generation quarterly (also available, in a slightly revised form, on my website, here).