Many, perhaps most, readers of Then and Now teach in one context or another. The responsibility, joy, and challenge of teaching is paradoxical: it is a complex exercise, and yet the task is simple. Is teaching a calling? Can one learn to be a great teacher, or is teaching a gift with which someone is born? What is the future of teaching, particularly in higher-ed settings? How do we teach students to love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with their God?
The Koch brothers have grown wary of being perceived as a pro-rich people lobby, so they’re working on it. Matea Gold and James Hohmann report that “the theme of helping the lower class was echoed throughout the weekend conference.”
“The theme of helping the lower class”—that’s a well-worded summary, because whatever shifts in tone or even substance exist here, it’s important to recognize that the subject of the sentence remains: uncommonly rich, powerful people.
Eugene Rogan tells a fascinating story about a part of the Great War that many know little about: the conflict between Allied and Central Powers in the Middle East. Rogan, author of The Arabs: A History, reveals that side of the war from the perspective of the Turks and the Arabs.
Icelanders have not been happy at what they consider a tepid response by their government to the refugee crisis in Europe, many coming from war-torn Syria. After the government said it would restrict the number of refugees it would accept to 50, more than 12,000 people responded to a petition on Facebook demanding that the government be more welcoming. Many of the petitioners offered to host refugees in their own homes. The Global Peace Index recently ranked Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world and Syria the least peaceful (Guardian, September 1).