Went Well, Home

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.

4 thoughts on “Went Well, Home

  1. I missed the talk…came in at the tail end. I heard lots of folks who went talking though. Some folks had questions about the viability of this for single mothers with children who has to work. And that homeschooling presumes a level of education that many do not have. I think those are the serious questions. Then when you said that sunday schools and such are a bad idea, you raised a point that the Christian schools are really no better…so if the Christian churches have not been able to organize an alternative, what are we left with for the marginalized even in our churches?

    And just for the record…not everyone who comes is “anarchist” but some were simply seeking…so my bet is those sold to the state education thing were not anarchist. I am an anarchist, Mennonite, and I am all for what you had to say. I think the questions above though pose some serious questions. and for those of us who are anarchists, I think it is harder for us to hear a critque of the system when you are working within it. We look more at the integrity of the life than the words, which is not meant as a judgment on you, or anything that belittles your position. I think you have a lot offer, your ideas are fresh and open, and I am excited to hear about the thigns you do. the comment is only to say, if you really don’t think what you are doing is good, why stay? I know of some Catholic workers trying to set up a Catholic worker school, where people would come for a few months and learn, from others and perhaps their own curriculum. they would love to have you involved. that’s anarchism.

  2. Hey Phil/AKMA

    I didn’t know you were down at my alma mater city. We’ll have to talk about this ingame, I want to know if you saw any of the “sights”. 🙂

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