Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jesuit Ideal; Student Mission

The introduction of Kolvenbach’s text initiates a bold question, “How can the Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States express faith-filled concern for justice in what they are as Christian academies of higher learning, in what their faculty do, and in what students become?” I believe this question is integral to understand because of the implication it holds for us personally and as students of Post-Colonial literature. All throughout the text there is a subtle undercurrent of control; the main question being an example. Any entity/institution can claim a specific mission but, regardless of how righteous, unjust, holy, or evil the mission may appear, a specific mission for a population implies a hierarchy of desire. Does the mission, “Today our prime educational objective must be to form men for others; men who will live not for themselves be for God and his Christ…” sound like the men being formed have an option? If we take Rushdie and Wright’s assertion, definition creates reality, to be true; either we define reality for ourselves or become defined by another’s reality. Chances are a majority of people are not going to want to let the Jesuit Educational Mission become their reality. So what does this mean for us as students of a Jesuit institution? While the Jesuit mission is not a negative mission, it does require us to bow our reality in favor of another. An act some of us may find uncomfortable. This also relates to us as Post-Colonial literature students in a larger sense because it can be paralleled to one group’s definition of reality taking precedence over another’s; a highly debated topic between colonizer and colonized. In conclusion, I don’t believe Jesuit institutions can express faith-filled concern for anything; they can only set the stage for the actualization of that expression. It is up to the individuals, who chose to live the mission, to express faith-filled concern and justice.

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