Matthew Bersagel Braley

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Twenty-five springs ago I sat in a class on African American literature. On a small, rural midwestern campus, this course was taught by a white professor. Two of the seven Black students on campus at that time were in the class, the remaining twenty-five or so students reflected the demographics ...

Democracy, in its essence, and genius, is imaginative love for and identification with a community with which, much of the time and in many ways, one may be in profound disagreement. ~ Marilynne Robinson[1] These words hung like a silent invocation on the threshold of my Truth, Beauty, and Goodness class ...

The first religion course I took in college was an introduction to the Bible, one of two required religion courses in our core curriculum. The students’ reaction to the course follows what, I suspect, is familiar terrain for those who teach similar courses. The application of academic tools to the ...

Hospitality does not begin faraway, but near. We learn what hospitality is by reaching out to persons near to us—persons we pass by every day, persons who share our highways and hallways, our sidewalks and side streets. This past fall, forty-eight leaders from around our community gathered to tell “...

“Resisting cultured despair” is a phrase from feminist ethicist Sharon Welch that captured my imagination in graduate school. It is a phrase, or rather a disposition, that named for me my experience with the paralysis (and the privilege) that often prevent us from moving beyond critical description (what is going ...

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