MICRO LECTURE #2: INTRO TO DANTE, THE MOUNTAIN & MODELS FOR 21st CENTURY EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL OF OUR LADY
DR. JESSICA HOOTEN WILSON AT THE DIGITAL CAFÉ [05/01/2023]
SPECIAL EDITION FOR READERS of THE ROSARY HOUR PODCAST
What should education look like in the 21st Century School of Our Lady?
This question moved the Rosary Hour Podcast interview team to explore questions on the Catholic Imagination with esteemed guest / speaker / professor, Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, who authors “Reading for the Love of God”.
Dr. Hooten Wilson continues this examination, bringing up the importance of the image of the mountain communicated by Dante’s Purgatorio whereby we are taught that by education in the Church through the liturgy, conversation, stories and work can help us overcome the obstacles of the Inferno.
ABOUT DR. HOOTEN WILSON: jessicahootenwilson.com
Jessica Hooten Wilson is the Seaver College Scholar of Liberal Arts at
Pepperdine University. She hosts a podcast called The Scandal of Reading: Pursuing Holy Wisdom with Christ & Pop Culture, where she discusses with fellow authors, professors, and theologians. She is the author of Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice; Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints; Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov, which received a 2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in the Culture & the Arts; as well as two books on Walker Percy: The Search for Influence: Walker Percy and Fyodor Dostoevsky (Ohio State University Press, 2017) and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels (Louisiana State University Press, 2018); most recently she co-edited Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020). She is also a co-author with Dr. Jacob Stratman of Learning the Good Life: Wisdom from the Great Hearts and Minds that Came Before. She has received numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship to the Czech Republic, an NEH grant to study Dante in Florence in 2014, and the Biola Center for Christian Thought sabbatical fellowship. In 2018 she received the Emerging Public Intellectual Award given by a coalition of North American think tanks in collaboration with the Centre for Christian Scholarship at Redeemer University College, and in 2019 she received the Hiett Prize in Humanities from The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.
ON EDUCATION & THE SCHOOL OF OUR LADY
In our efforts to go on a journey with our guests to explore the topic of Catholic Education in the 21st century vis-a-vis the 'School of Our Lady', or 'the School of Mary', we are invited to seek a special communion of life with the saints of paradise which Hooten Wilson touches on in this vignette on Dante.
In a similar way, the Rosary brings us closer to Our Lady's promises -- provided when this Rosary prayer can become part of our regular daily contribution to forming on earth what Cardinal Collins often refers to in his sermons: the Holy City, Jerusalem is touched on in this video.1
This invitation to become apostles of the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady in our times through the School of the Rosary is an extraordinary way that we allow Our Lady to enter into our lives.
Before moving further into that conversation, we wanted to invite you to listen to Dr. Hooten Wilson who continues this thread on Dante by exploring the image of the mountain in the model of education communicated by Dante’s Purgatorio.
She notes that we are ‘taught’ by education in the Church through the liturgy, and by conversation, stories and work — all of which can help us overcome the obstacles of the Inferno.3
Obstacle #1 Defined by the Rosary: A Mini Series Narrator, Fr. Chris Alar is “Pride”. See his video on the 7 Deadly Sins here: CLICK TO WATCH
INQUIRY #1: What are the obstacles in my life preventing me from facing and/or overcoming the crosses, the exhaustion, the defects and limits and the complexities of daily sufferings associated with the Inferno? which Dr. Hooten Wilson notes in her video?
INQUIRY #2: How can 2023 help me to walk in the light of Heaven, guided like Dante by the Saints? And how can education and reading help in that task of growing closer to God?
In the next series of posts, we’ll explore some of these questions from our Substack for the month of January, etc.4 We'll begin by returning to the question of 'Hell' which we began with Cardinal Collins and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.
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The promise of the Our Father brings about the Kingdom of God that is formed by Christ’s coming into our hearts by our frequent and daily prayer of the Holy Rosary and scriptural meditations on its mysteries.
SEE THE VIDEO HERE: “WHAT IS HELL?”
In a YouTube video lecture about Dante’s mountain, Dr. Cary notes that Purgatorio is the only canticle of the three canticles where we are “on the Earth” which symbolizes the concept of the journey: “with the journey you haven’t reached perfection until you get to the end”. Our movement on Earth is a journey to God. Dr. Phil Cary at Templeton Honours College and Dr. Alina Beary of Torrey Honors join in a conversation at a Protestant University and they both begin the conversation with an intriguing embrace of the message of Dante’s Purgatorio and its capacity to inspire the “straightening of the crooked” that the canticle teaches is the period of time granted to all of humanity to transform through our own personal works of penance, of mortification, of this journey toward holiness and increasing our faith, hope and love.
We’ll continue to hear from our other guests who can help us to build upon this question of education in the School of Our Lady, including further notes from our discussions with Fr. Looney, Dr. Lombardi, Fr. Charles Nahm, Fr. Anthony Gramlich, Dr. Blythe Kaufman, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Cardinal Collins and two new members to our conversation - Dr. Bob Schuchts from the JP2 Healing Centre who comes to the Digital Café at the end of January and Dr. Tod Worner (Editor of Evangelization and Culture for Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire Institute).