So, I’ve read the emails from Duke Divinity School which led to the resignation of Paul Griffiths, the Chair of Catholic Theology. And all I can say is it’s so much worse than we all thought it was. At least it’s worse than I thought. I mean, we all knew political correctness was a cudgel for bullies to beat down anyone with an opposing view but man, it’s bad.
This is like the opposite of sausage. Everyone says you don’t want to see it being made but in the end it’s awesome. Well, watching the inner workings of academia is ugly but in the end it tastes like crap.
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
I’m responding to Thea’s exhortation that we should attend the Racial Equity Institute Phase 1 Training scheduled for 4-5 March. In her message she made her ideological commitments clear. I’ll do the same, in the interests of free exchange.
I exhort you not to attend this training. Don’t lay waste your time by doing so. It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty. When (if) it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show. Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual. (Re)trainings of intellectuals by bureaucrats and apparatchiks have a long and ignoble history; I hope you’ll keep that history in mind as you think about this instance.
We here at Duke Divinity have a mission. Such things as this training are at best a distraction from it and at worst inimical to it. Our mission is to thnk, read, write, and teach about the triune Lord of Christian confession. This is a hard thing. Each of us should be tense with the effort of it, thrumming like a tautly triple-woven steel thread with the work of it, consumed by the fire of it, ever eager for more of it. We have neither time nor resources to waste. This training is a waste. Please, ignore it. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Paul J. Griffiths
Warren Chair of Catholic Theology
Duke Divinity School
Read the responses and then about the scheduled hearings and recriminations. It’s stunning. I’m beginning to think that normal people just have to boycott institutions such as DDS.
Check the emails out at Rod Dreher’s site at the American Conservative.