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Friday, April 24, 2009

University education may be therapy for soul

Elon University’s student newspaper, The Pendulum, reports Thomas Moore’s presentation last night, "The Soul of the University."

Reporter Rebecca Smith quotes Moore, "Education, if it touches the student's soul, is a kind of therapeutics, in the sense that you are not just teaching and instructing the person, but the education itself can nurse the soul," Moore said. "It can give ideas to the student that will actually help them deal with life, and find out who they are. Education can do this, and maybe should do this."
"He said that the soul has a dark side, but that people often do not mention this darker side. He said he does not romanticize this soul and referenced his psychoanalysis work. Moore said the people who call him are all going through tough times, and that attention to our souls primarily happens when things are going badly.

"When it comes to the soul of the university, let's not romanticize it or sentimentalize it," Moore said. "Let's realize that people are having wonderful days and going through wonderful experiences, and they are going through terrifying and terrible experiences, and going through loss."
Smith touched on Moore’s references to the value of ignorance, the role of art, and contributions to community.

According to Smith, Moore also said he was at Elon University "to celebrate the career of Richard McBride, who is retiring at the end of this academic year." McBride is the university’s chaplain.

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