Monday, July 12, 2010

5 Waste-of-Money Classes at Catholic Colleges and Universities

All of these classes are real, unfortunately.
There are tons of classes that are a waste of money at most schools (Texas A&M offers many of them in our own back yard).

But, Catholic schools should be held to a higher standard and too many have fallen for the lie that they must give into the ideas of our world to be consider a "good" school.

Many of the questionable classes are in the Colleges of Liberal Arts, especially the philosophy, theology, or religious studies departments - what a shame. There are classes which cover radical feminism, "gay studies", liberation theology, etc. I haven't included most of these classes, because the list would go on forever. Here is just a sampling of what you could call the modern-day underwater basket-weaving classes found in the Colleges of liberal arts...

5 Waste-of-Money Classes at Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • 5 - Embodied Prayer: Exp Sacred/Ritual, Movement, Dance - Boston College
       -This class has "contemporary studies of sacred and liturgical dance and their integration into ritual."
  • 4 - Old Testament and Ecojustice - Gonzaga
       -I am sure Moses was not aware of ecojustice when he hit the rock a second time and wasted water.
  • 3 - Sexing the Past - Georgetown
       -Learn about "cross-dressing, intersex and the question of same-sex erotic relations."
  • 2 - Witchcraft and Power - Loyola Chicago
       -"Modern witchcraft and magic beliefs and practices as New Religious Movements."
  • 1 - Philosophy and Star Trek - Georgetown
       -The course description starts with "Star Trek is very philosophical."


Badger Catholic said...

Funny they call witchcraft "modern." Such a strange accusation makes it sound like a sales pitch.

Dorian Speed said...

I am going to be contrary here, even though I am in no sense a Trekkie. I took a Philosophy of Mind class in which the professor said he'd always thought it would be fun to teach a Philosophy of Star Trek course. We were discussing materialism as it relates to "beaming" - the idea that, if we reassembled the right combination of atoms, we would be able to generate the same person in a different place. So the question was whether or not our consciousness is simply a byproduct of the firing of our neurons.

I can see this course as a great introduction to various philosophical questions that one would typically encounter in an Intro to Philosophy class, just with a pop culture "hook." So I tend to think the professor isn't showing full episodes of Star Trek to the class but is utilizing clips as a jumping-off point for a discussion.

As to the other four classes on the list, I got nothin'.

Sister Lynn said...

I agree with 1, 2 and 3 and 5

but what's wrong with ecojustice? We have many social justice teachings that come from the OT why not ecojustice?
The very first book of the Bible sets the stage for ecojustice - the whole earth is God's creation and we are stewards of it.

So.... what gives?

In other news: Have you seen this? talk about idiocy in academia... I cannot believe he was fired!

David said...

Interesting that none of these classes take place at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ave Maria University, Christendom College, etc. Maybe we should only refer to real Catholic institutions as Catholic Universities and leave the rest to being what they really are... secular.

Jon Wire said...


The implication is not that witchcraft itself is a modern development. The phrasing is intended to be read in the same way as similar phrases like "modern art." Taht is, art itself isn't a modern development. But, there are modern developments and evolutions in and of art. And, the same can be said of witchcraft: It's not the same witchcraft that your parents used to practice!

Nate Martin said...

5 - Here in the USA, liturgical dance is not used, but in africa and Asia it is Part of worship. It might be interesting to see what the movements mean in different cultures.

4 - Yeah, this is lame

3 - Could be interesting if it is done strictly through history.

2 - I think I would enjoy learning about the modern witchcraft. I am interested in the things that people are getting into today. Many priests and religious would benefit from this class to help them minister to others

1 - Although pointless, I think I would have a fun time in the class.

John said...

5. Jesuit
4. Jesuit
3. Jesuit
2. Jesuit
1. Jesuit

I wouldn't mind a more serious take on some of those subjects (like others have commented) and I would probably enjoy the Star Trek class. Leave it to the Jesuits, though...

michael said...

The only surprising thing here is that the list is limited to a mere five classes. It could easily be expanded to dozens and dozens.

Gert said...

Anyone who would pay for any of these classes, must have a lot of extra bucks and time. What happened to education being about learning something meaningful/truthful? These classes all seem to be about nothing.

As a parent, I'd be outraged to have my money pay for any of these classes. If one is looking for entertainment while receiving an education, how about movie night at the dorm?

patina said...

I love your blog and love the posts you usually have, but I have to say, this post made me a bit sad.

Granted, there is a need for back-bone classes and classes related to one's major at university, but there is no reason students shouldn't have available to them interesting, thought-provoking classes that aren't 'classic', such as the philosophy of star wars class.

I also think that the dance/movement class could be a wonderful class (or course, if done respectfully and thoughtfully), especially looking at Christian and tribal religions of Africa. It's ignorant to think that just because westerners don't (generally) use dance and movement as a part of our services, other cultures do not. That doesn't make it any less important. Think of what an advantage a Catholic visiting an African parish would have if he/she understood more about how they worship? I would love to take that class!

Also, regarding classes 2 & 3, I think (again, if done in a respectful and historical way) would be wonderful for Catholic students to take. We cannot expect to understand those who we disagree with (homesexual movements, modern pagans, etc) without understanding where they come from and why they act in ways that they do. I'm not saying we have to agree, but we don't have to condemn either. That's not our job. Education goes a long way.

I have to say I could easily understand how #4 could be taken too far into the 'green movement', but as another commenter already stated, we are stewards of God's creation. To ignore that is also grave.

Sorry for the long comment, but I love your blog and was really surprised to see such a post when I usually find interesting, thought-provoking and helpful posts.

Thank you for your time! Looking forward to new posts.

Ismael said...

#5 sounds more like a tantric course O_o


# 4 LOL


#3 We need reminding that perverts have always been around?


# 2 Might not be so useless. Depends who gives the course and how it is given.

Since new age movements are quite popular, especially wicca, it might be interesting to understand the roots of this phenomenon

Although Wicca, modern witchcraft and duid movements all start at the beginning of the XX century (with Gerald Gardner) and are not that connected to historical witchcraft or druidism (we know very little about druids...)


#1 This is fun for ONE lecture... sometimes in physical sciences they give a single lecture (where everybody can attend, not only students) about 'The science of Star Trek', that talks about what in ST is feasible and what impossbile and what we actually already have.

This course though introduces:
"Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class? "

I watched most Star Trek episodes from all series, but it NEVER was very philosophical.

The questions the course raises are interesting but Star Trek is not really a stepping stone to philosophy...

The philosophy of science fiction would have been a more interesting course. In spite of ST popularity, I find the series quite lacking intellectually. The only pretense of intelligence is the ‘techno-babble’ which makes no sense (as a physicist I find it comical).

There are different authors, like R.A. Heinlein, who explore philosophical and sociological questions much more deeply in his works. This can also be said for Asimov, Philip K. Dick and others.

Ismael said...

Badger Catholic said...
Funny they call witchcraft "modern." Such a strange accusation makes it sound like a sales pitch.

Modern Witchcraft *is* modern (as most neo-pagan movements)... since its roots come from the beginning of the XX century

They have little to do with ancient or medieval/Reinassance witchcraft.

In a way one can call it the 'hardcore femminist answer to religion'

Jude said...

Where do you people get the idea that in Africa (Yes, I am writing from Uganda---pray for our bomb victims) we do lots of liturgical dances? That's not accurate. Some ethnic groups do not do any dances in liturgy. In Kampala Archdiocese where I live, liturgical dances are a rarity

Barry said...

It's ignorant to think that just because westerners don't (generally) use dance and movement as a part of our services, other cultures do not.

Badger Catholic said...

Thanks Jon and Ismael for the clarification.