The talk with the anarchists went well this afternoon. I got to Champaign about when I expected — a little later due to a late start and traffic outside Chicago — but had a hard time finding the venue of the conferenec. I telephone the organizer to apologize, and when I was through leaving a message on her cell phone, I turned the car around in a parking from which was clearly visible a banner that read, “Welcome to the Fourth Annual Anarchism & Christianity Conference.” Oh.
The anarchists indulged my pitiably compromised position as a tenured full professor, and attentively listened to me give a talk based generally on the notes I posted yesterday. At the end, they had some terrific, hard questions for me. I did the best I could at answering them, but some just leave me flummoxed. For instance, even at a conference specifically designed for anarchists, some attendees have so committed themselves to state-run public education that they gave me a hard time for suggesting anything else, or for not giving more concrete suggestions about how Christian radicals could help out the work of state-run public educational institutions.
They gave me a very enthusiastic welcome, though, and thanked me generously; and I asked their prayers, and yours, for all of us who presume to teach, and all of us who commit ourselves not to stop learning.