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“Wokeism” in American Colleges

“Wokeism”, or more formally known as intersectional critical theory, is loosely defined as “embrac[ing] skepticism about classical liberal arts education grounded in traditional norms of academic debate”

CURRENT is “an online journal of commentary and opinion that provides daily reflection on contemporary culture, politics, and ideas”, and its Executive Editor, John Fea, uses this platform to discuss the vices of “wokeism”, particularly in American colleges.

Fea presents the work of Charles Camosy, a Catholic philosopher who analyzes what this new sense of liberalism means for America’s higher education.

Camosy states: “Intersectional theorists have much to contribute, particularly when it comes to structural sin and a consistent ethic of life” and proves how their contribution can be both harmful and beneficial.

The danger of “wokeism” can be found in Camosy’s definitive words: “I have found that too often intersectional discourse focuses on tearing down perceived heretics and other opponents rather than working to find common cause with others who also want to lift up those discarded by our throwaway culture”.

Then, the authors tunnel their research to highlight the impact of “wokeism” in American, religious education.

“Open and honest academic dialogue will suffer”.

“[It] discourages the innovation, disagreement, argument, collaboration and transformation required to make progress. Authentic engagement across groups holding differing opinions on foundational topics is now rarely even attempted on these topics—much less achieved”.

These arguments are clear: the unrelenting culture of “wokeism” will damage political, educational, and cultural success, as well as growth and genuine repentance for history’s errors. Rather than unity, it promotes guilt and forced obedience to a new sort of tyrannical beliefs and social suicide to even question the “woke” wave.

Amid his fears concerning education, Camosy claims that “the millennial generation is the only one to support such a culture”. His hope is that “Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2008), is the generation most likely to reject it”.

Perhaps, their college years in the next decade will open the door to healthy conversation and save Christian education.

Fea concludes his article by challenging universities: “Is free speech celebrated on our campuses, or merely tolerated?”. He calls upon humanities educators to dig deep and shield their students from the tyrannous wave of “wokeism”.

Read the full article here.

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