Plough Quarterly No. 19 - School for Life

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What we want for schools reveals what we value as a society.

“What’s the point of school?” Parents have a stock set of responses, but the question remains unsettled, even two centuries after the Prussians invented compulsory education. The Prussian idea of what a school is for – to mold the populace to serve the state – seems unacceptable today. In vogue, instead, are slogans like “acquiring marketable skills” and “realizing your full potential.” These ideas powerfully shape our culture. Ultimately, they boil down to pursuing one supreme value: individual success in a competitive world.

Schools are a mirror of our society as a whole; what we want for schools makes plain what and whom we value in our common life. In the Christian tradition, the life of discipleship is also a school. In this educational community, under the instruction of our one Teacher, we learn not to seek empowerment, but to find strength in weakness; not to out-achieve others, but to serve them; not to pursue our passion, but to obey a call.

Also in this issue: poetry by Christian Wiman; reviews of new books by Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris, Francisco Cantú, Leif Enger, Carol Anderson, Stephanie Land, and Susan Wise Bauer; and art by Margaret McWethy, Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, Gérard David, Jackie Morris, Gustaf Tenggren, Sergey Dushkin, Anja Percival, Dmitry Samofalov, Christoph Wetzel, Sherrie York, Cathleen Rehfield, Paweł Kuczyński, and Jason Landsel.

Plough Quarterly features stories, ideas, and culture for people eager to put their faith into action. Each issue brings you in-depth articles, interviews, poetry, book reviews, and art to help you put Jesus’ message into practice and find common cause with others.

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Plough Publishing House
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