The essays in Paul Ricoeur and the Hope of Higher Education: The Just University discuss diverse ways that Paul Ricoeur’s work provides hopeful insight and necessary provocation that should inform the task and mission of the modern university in the changing landscape of Higher Education. This volume gathers interdisciplinary scholars seeking to reestablish the place of justice as the central function of higher education in the twenty-first century. The contributors represent diverse backgrounds, including teachers, scholars, and administrators from R1 institutions, seminary and divinity schools as well as undergraduate teaching colleges. This collection, edited by Daniel Boscaljon and Jeffrey F. Keuss, offers critical and practical visions for the renewal of higher education. The first part of the book provides an internal examination of the university system and details how Ricoeur’s thinking assists on pragmatics from syllabus design to final exams to daily teaching. The second portion of the book examines the Just University’s role as a social institution within the broader cultural world and looks at how Ricoeur’s description of values informs how the university works relative to religious belief, prisons, and rural poverty.
Daniel Boscaljon is director of the Center for Humanist Inquiries.
Jeffrey F. Keuss is professor of Christian ministry, theology, and culture at Seattle Pacific University.
List of Figures and Tables
Preface: Dreaming of the Just University in an Age of Crisis
Daniel Boscaljon and Jeffrey F. Keuss
Introduction: Paul Ricoeur and the Hope of a Just University
Part 1: The Just University as Instructional Space
Chapter 1: The Agon of the Summoned Self in Ricoeur’s Late Philosophy of Religion
Mark I. Wallace
Chapter 2: Reading Ricoeur Together: Interpretive Work and Surplus Meaning in a Just Pedagogy
Charles A. Gillespie
Chapter 3: Practical Formation: Teaching Critical Thinking via Ricoeur’s Hermeneutical Model
Laura Schmidt Roberts
Chapter 4: Ricoeur and Transferable Skills
Chapter 5: Fallible Pedagogy: How to Balance Liberation and Evaluation with Compassion
Chapter 6: Oneself as Another and The Argonauts: An Attempt at Interpretive Justice
Richard A. Rosengarten
Chapter 7: Embodied Pedagogy: Reflections on Becoming Oneself
Verna Marina Ehret
Part 2: The Just University as a Social Space
Chapter 8: The Literary Self: Nostalgia, Kenosis, and Interpretation toward a Renewed Vision and Possibility for the Liberal Arts
Jeffrey F. Keuss
Chapter 9: Teaching and Learning in Just Institutions: A Ricoeurean Institutional Ethic of Higher Education
Michael Le Chevallier
Chapter 10: Should Religion-Affiliated Institutions Be Accredited? Ricoeur and the Problem of Religious Inclusivity
Nathan Eric Dickman
Chapter 11: Interpreting with and for Others: Institutional Research as Hermeneutical Reasoning
Kenneth A. Reynhout
Chapter 12: National Memory or “What is College For?”
Vero Rose Smith
Chapter 13: Doing Time and Narrative: Teaching in (and out of) Prisons with Paul Ricoeur
Chapter 14: Wounded Memory and a Pedagogy of Hope: Engaging Ricoeur Within the Context of Conflicting Pasts
"As the voice of John Henry Newman was to the nineteenth century university, so perhaps Paul Ricoeur will be to the university of our own time. This remarkable collection of essays speaks immediately to the immediate crisis of a world facing pandemic and potential economic and moral collapse, and within it the role of higher education to sustain human flourishing and humane, ethical, and critical thinking in an age when the liberal arts are in danger of being squeezed from the curriculum. Facing the future in hope requires a rootedness in the philosophical, hermeneutical, and ethical density of Ricoeur’s teaching, and this book, with consummate scholarship, offers a vision to research and education that lies at the very heart of what it is to be fully human in a world where that fundamental element in our society is being threatened. This is a book to be pondered deeply by all teachers and students."
"This exciting new volume on the thought of Paul Ricoeur opens insights into his work as well as exploring its implications for considering the modern university as a just institution. In good Ricoeurian fashion, the authors, each an important scholar in her or his own right, thinks with Ricoeur but also works to think beyond him on the meaning and purpose of the just university. Scholars interested in Ricoeur’s work, philosophers of education, and anyone interested in the place of institutions in our common life will be excited and instructed by this fine volume. The editors are to be commended for gathering fine scholars in order to address this timely topic."
“The barbarians are no longer at the gates; they have already entered our citadels of higher education, transforming institutions for truth-seeking, cultural memory, critical thought, character formation, and societal flourishing into over-managed factories for functionalist, techno-capitalism. Humanistic and humane literary and philosophical scholarship is one of the university’s few remaining defenses. In Paul Ricouer and the Hope of Higher Education world-class scholars creatively apply Ricouer’s thought to the crisis of the modern university, clearly challenging us to create a more just, transformational, and wise, post-covid world. These illuminating and liberating essays are bright lights of hope in a dark time.”
“This book is precisely the thing we need not only to deal with the calamity in higher education but also to set a new agenda for the future of the university. I salute the editors for giving us this rich banquet of thought that can make us not only better teachers, but better thinkers as well as more astute moral agents. Even as we are plagued by our prejudices, we are called to be builders of a better and more just university. Read this book to be inspired, informed, and called forth for our students, our world and ourselves.”