For “The Risk of Education”

The late Fr. Luigi Giussani, who founded the international Communion and Liberation movement, sometimes is hard for me to follow. Our School of Community is reading his seminal work “The Religious Sense,” and, to be honest, I would find it tough to grasp were it not for the skilled summaries provided by the woman who leads our weekly group.

This weekend, I bought another of his books, one that is easily accessible to me: “The Risk of Education. “ The subtitle is: Discovering our Ultimate Destiny.  I recommend this book to anyone who is a teacher or a parent or who hopes to be.

I have just started reading this one. I’m sneaking in bits and pieces as I cram in my year-end graduate school assignments and end-of-year tasks as a new high school teacher. I don’t have a succinct review of this book to offer but want to share some quotes I am underlining (It seems I am underlining half the lines in this book). Here’s what has inspired me in the first THREE pages.

The primary concern of society is to teach the young. This is the opposite of what currently happens.”

“True education (is)…educating what is human in us, our source or origin.”

“Ethics is nothing more than the continuation of the attitude in which God originally created humanity in its relation to all things.”

And finally, as the mother of a teen and a preteen, these words went straight to my heart:

True education must be an education in criticism. Up to the age of ten (Maybe even sooner these days) a child is still allowed to say ‘Because the teacher said so, because mommy said so.’ This is because those who love the child instinctively offer him, and fill his knapsack with, the best of their experiences, the best choices they made in their own lives. There comes a point, however, when nature gives the child to take this knapsack and look at it…What one has been told must become a problem! Unless this happens, it will either be irrationally rejected or irrationally kept but will never mature.”

  • Roma locuta est

    I am glad to hear you are reading Giussani. I am not a member of C&L; (would love to be, but there seem to be no active groups nearby and I simply don't have the time right now to start one), but I am a long-time fan of his writings. We did a book study on "Is It Possible to Live This Way" a couple years ago in our home (C&L; style), and I love the Education material, especially as a teacher.I agree that he can be hard to digest at times, and I think that this is because most of his work is a transcript of a talk, so much of it was off the cuff and not necessarily organized. ("Is It Possible … " is this way).At any rate, blessings to you and your readings!

  • Allison

    @RLE ; ) Actually, my SoC read "is it possible to live this way" before we delved into "The Religous Sense" This year I did prefer the former. As for CL, the closest group to you would be in Columbus, If you feel drawn to their charism I would contact the folks there. In addition to SoCs, CL offers cultural events, family vacations, teen vacations (combo of vacations and retreats!) etc. etc. My son, for example, does not live near a GS (high school) group but is loving the yearly vacations with kids from the greater NYC area. He is welcome, and your family would be too.