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Gabriela

New Saint Thomas Institute & Dr. Taylor Marshall: Legit?

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Amppax

Orthodox? Yes. Legit? Depends on your definition. It's not accredited, and it is certainly not your typical academic model. You can see all that by poking around the website. 

You will learn straight neo-Thomism from him. Which is fine, there's nothing wrong with that. There's just more to theology than studying the Summa and the commentatorial tradition. But Dr. Marshall is a good teacher, and is good at explaining complex concepts simply. 

*edit: I would add that studying the Summa and the commentatorial tradition will give you a foundation that greatly helps in studying 20th c. Catholic theology, especially de Lubac, von Balthasar, Rahner, et. al. This article by Rusty Reno is a good commentary on why that is the case : http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/05/100-theology-after-the-revolution

Also, neo-Thomism as I am using it equals neo-Scholasticism as Dr. Reno uses it. 

Edited by Amppax

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Gabriela

I'm sure lots of people are worried about some freelance professor just being out to make a buck, but every professor is out to make a buck. I sure as hell wouldn't work for free, and neither would St. Augustine—the original freelance professor. And I can totally see how that model of theology education would work well and be sufficient for a great many people. So I'm less concerned with the accreditation and innovative educational platform thing and more wondering about his orthodoxy.

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PhuturePriest
2 hours ago, Gabriela said:

I'm sure lots of people are worried about some freelance professor just being out to make a buck, but every professor is out to make a buck. I sure as hell wouldn't work for free, and neither would St. Augustine—the original freelance professor. And I can totally see how that model of theology education would work well and be sufficient for a great many people. So I'm less concerned with the accreditation and innovative educational platform thing and more wondering about his orthodoxy.

Totally orthodox. Lots of trusted people I know read his stuff and recommend him.

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Amppax
8 minutes ago, PhuturePriest said:

Totally orthodox. Lots of trusted people I know read his stuff and recommend him.

See, I should have just led with that. 

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PhuturePriest
Just now, Amppax said:

See, I should have just led with that. 

Leave it to the uneducated to answer simply. :P

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Era Might

Looks like a Catholic version of the "Bible College" a Protestant might attend. I'm curious, though, if they're so keen on preserving Thomism, maybe that should include the medieval model of pedagogy...I doubt this is it (not necessarily a bad thing), but would Thomas have seen his pedagogy as a catechetical school for busy professionals.

Edited by Era Might

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Gabriela
12 minutes ago, Era Might said:

Looks like a Catholic version of the "Bible College" a Protestant might attend. I'm curious, though, if they're so keen on preserving Thomism, maybe that should include the medieval model of pedagogy...I doubt this is it (not necessarily a bad thing), but would Thomas have seen his pedagogy as a catechetical school for busy professionals.

The medieval model of pedagogy existed in a much more "local world" with a much lower cost of living and much lower expectations about who would achieve these levels of education. Plus, medieval pedagogy was not used in a digital age where people's attention spans have shortened to an average of 15 minutes.

Personally—as a pedagogue—I think what the guy is doing is interesting and worthy of attention. Maybe it'll fail, but maybe it won't. As someone who thinks education needs to be de-institutionalized to a great (but not total) extent, I find the prospect of his success exciting. Think about it: If this model spreads, a great many more people than presently do will find solid theological education accessible. That's not a bad thing.

And if it fails, nothing is lost. In fact, we'll gain the knowledge that this type of education doesn't work. It's as important to know what doesn't work as it is to know what does.

I'm sure that if this does spread, there will be quack theologians who abuse it. But think about it: The "internet economy" runs on reputation. If someone is a quack, the internet can identify and spread that very quickly. So that's a problem that the medium itself makes it possible to resolve, if we just make the effort.

All that being said, there is definitely something to learning in a close-knit, residential community of learners. That's an experience that no internet or online or distance education program can—or ever could, IMO—match. But unfortunately, these days, that kind of education is becoming more and more expensive, available only to the elite. We've always had a hierarchy of educational quality, but as I see it, online education is creating new "tiers" in that hierarchy that didn't exist before. It remains to be seen whether that's a good or bad thing. I suspect it's bad, but not nearly as bad as only the elite getting an education, while the poor or unable-to-get-away-from-work get none at all.

This isn't his original idea, btw: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/14/two-companies-give-faculty-more-control-online-courses

I also remember reading about some website that organized professors to do this in the Boston area, but that was years ago and I can't find the site now. Not sure if it's still up and running. It was a brand spanking new idea back then, and if I'm not mistaken, that website was the pioneer in this. I think the name had something to do with a blackbird or something. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

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Era Might
7 hours ago, Gabriela said:

The medieval model of pedagogy existed in a much more "local world" with a much lower cost of living and much lower expectations about who would achieve these levels of education. Plus, medieval pedagogy was not used in a digital age where people's attention spans have shortened to an average of 15 minutes.

Personally—as a pedagogue—I think what the guy is doing is interesting and worthy of attention. Maybe it'll fail, but maybe it won't. As someone who thinks education needs to be de-institutionalized to a great (but not total) extent, I find the prospect of his success exciting. Think about it: If this model spreads, a great many more people than presently do will find solid theological education accessible. That's not a bad thing.

And if it fails, nothing is lost. In fact, we'll gain the knowledge that this type of education doesn't work. It's as important to know what doesn't work as it is to know what does.

I'm sure that if this does spread, there will be quack theologians who abuse it. But think about it: The "internet economy" runs on reputation. If someone is a quack, the internet can identify and spread that very quickly. So that's a problem that the medium itself makes it possible to resolve, if we just make the effort.

All that being said, there is definitely something to learning in a close-knit, residential community of learners. That's an experience that no internet or online or distance education program can—or ever could, IMO—match. But unfortunately, these days, that kind of education is becoming more and more expensive, available only to the elite. We've always had a hierarchy of educational quality, but as I see it, online education is creating new "tiers" in that hierarchy that didn't exist before. It remains to be seen whether that's a good or bad thing. I suspect it's bad, but not nearly as bad as only the elite getting an education, while the poor or unable-to-get-away-from-work get none at all.

This isn't his original idea, btw: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/14/two-companies-give-faculty-more-control-online-courses

I also remember reading about some website that organized professors to do this in the Boston area, but that was years ago and I can't find the site now. Not sure if it's still up and running. It was a brand spanking new idea back then, and if I'm not mistaken, that website was the pioneer in this. I think the name had something to do with a blackbird or something. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

I think I know what Boston program you're talking about, I was actually part of it. I still am but I moved out of state so can't attend. It started as a coop of teachers based on an anarchist model of teachers and students. It kind of fizzled out but has remained with one of the original founders as a mystical philosophy study group (that's the group I'm part of). Of course, you're right, this is not the middle ages, but I think form does matter. The group I'm part of has chosen not to institutionalize, to remain a group of free and like-minded learners. In effect, that means we've just remained a small group of geeks who meet in someone's house and talk about mystical philosophy. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to open up learning to a wider audience, even institutionalizing in a truly free way, but I think it's important to at least consider the irony of a modern educational model devoted to preserving a medieval worldview. The form is not irrelevant. This is true of all educational institutions...of course, there's irony about a bunch of 20 somethings sitting around reading Shakespeare and Homer and Melville in cozy environs....while Hamlet contemplates suicide and Othello commits jealous murderous rage, these kids are "studying." I've wondered to myself, which is greater, to read Hamlet or to be Hamlet? But we wouldn't want these literary people in our homes, so we study them in books and call it higher education. :P

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Gabriela
6 minutes ago, Era Might said:

I think it's important to at least consider the irony of a modern educational model devoted to preserving a medieval worldview. The form is not irrelevant. This is true of all educational institutions...of course, there's irony about a bunch of 20 somethings sitting around reading Shakespeare and Homer and Melville in cozy environs....while Hamlet contemplates suicide and Othello commits jealous murderous rage, these kids are "studying." I've wondered to myself, which is greater, to read Hamlet or to be Hamlet? But we wouldn't want these literary people in our homes, so we study them in books and call it higher education. :P

Huh. Good points!

What was the name of the Boston group, btw? It'll drive me nuts till I remember it...

Edited by Gabriela

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Era Might
2 minutes ago, Gabriela said:

Huh. Good points!

What was the name of the Boston group, btw? It'll drive me nuts till I remember it...

Corvid College

 

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Josh

I stopped following him on Facebook because of how smug and condescending he was. The last straw was his attack on Justin Bieber lol

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