“White privilege is your history being taught as a core class and mine being taught as an elective,” wrote a tumblr user in February of 2014. This claim illustrates how education sins in its ignorance.
Latin American liberation theologians taught that sin consists not only of personal misdeeds—it is also embedded in social structures that promote harm and inequity.
Nothing outrages students in Jonathan Sheehan’s course on the history of Christianity at the University of California at Berkeley more than the writings of John Calvin. What kind of God is it who would predetermine the ultimate destiny of all humans before the creation of the world? students wonder. Reading Calvin, he says, helps students see the power of an argument and consider the consequences of their own beliefs and commitments. Sheehan wants students to wrestle with Calvin with “integrity, reason, creativity, and charity . . . intellectual virtues that we need in our modern world” (New York Times, September 12).