From Lodging to Visitation

Saturday, October 22, 2016
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM (ET)
CHS CHS 104 Chase Auditorium
Event Type
Sullivan, Walter H
President's Office

From Lodging to Visitation:
Hosts and Guests past the thresholds of cultural and spiritual irritants.
Chase Auditorium
Saturday, October 22, 2016
3:00pm Refreshments
3:30pm Talk

Benigno Sánchez-Eppler translates and teaches in Amherst, Massachussets.
From October 16-23, he will serve as Friend in Residence at Haverford College as part of Religion and Spirituality Week.

To host his last birthday he and his two children filled their New England back yard and its airspace with the magnificent Cuban smoke of a whole pig roasting. His full-professor Jewish wife made 9 pies and a cake.  Many vegetarians came in the mix of Friends and friends from his Quaker Meeting and the Amherst College faculty to happily devoured the rice and beans, the desserts, and all felt loved and privileged for having been invited. A good half dozen thanked him profusely for the chance to acknowledge their inexcusable incapacity to look the perfectly golden-brown pig in the face.

Can we imagine a core curriculum for the enlivening transformation of the strong feelings of irritation aroused when we are surrounded by other people’s food smells in our nostrils, and languages we don’t understand in our ears, and workers from elsewhere taking care of our aging parents and our growing children?

Is there a curriculum that makes us feel "at home" in the material and cultural abundance of the Liberal Arts?

What would it take to make the entering guest into a fully empowered host in the life of the Liberal Arts College? How do we alter the structure of belonging to make every entering undergraduate (particularly those who grew up in families unacquainted with the Liberal Arts tradition) feel and carry the entitlement and prerogatives of our most enfranchised “legacies”?

What did the host do with his irritation when John Woolman, his beloved guest, broke into tears because he knew where the silver came from and therefore could not drink the tea poured in the silver cup? What did the host feel  when John Woolman paid the house slaves for the attentions they gave the guest at their master's bidding?

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