Links for 04/24/15

by Michael Sean Winters

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At Commonweal, Jackson Lears on the liberal arts versus Neo-liberalism. This is an important, important essay. The reach of scientific positivism, especially when it comes dressed in economicist drag, tears away at the very foundation of what we mean when we say "civilization."  

In this morning's Washington Post, former Maryland Governor, and CUA alumnus, Martin O'Malley on tying all college loan repayment schedules to incomes. This is the kind of thing that may not sound like a big deal - unless you know someone burdened by college loans. 

Also in this morning's WaPo, Michael Gerson comments on David Brooks' new book. I got nervous when I read the sentence, "This requires the moral vocabulary from a previous era." But, Gerson is a believer through and through and here is the money quote that rescues this essay from being an exercise in moralism:

Brooks makes this point in a nonsectarian, even nonreligious, manner. He is always careful — always courteous enough — to leave people the space to find their way. But “grace” is an inherently theological term — a rescue that originates from the outside. The scales of the universe, in the end, come down decisively on the side of love. And we experience it, not like the argument in a book, but like the smile on the face of someone we love. Instead of finding, we are found.

This hope, it turns out, is always challenging to the prevailing culture because it comes from outside, from elsewhere, from above.


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