Jose Casanova

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Professor, Georgetown University, Department of Sociology

It was a great experience to come, to be able to teach, and to spend some time, exchange opinions, thoughts, and see how the university functions. And I was very impressed by three things.

The first very obvious level – administration. Everything runs smoothly, perfectly, unexpectedly well. But this is only the external.

The second is the sense of community. One gets the sense that this is not only a professional institution that gives degrees but that constructs a community of spirit, of intellect, even an ethical community, in which you see the way in which both professors and students share values, ideas.

I was very impressed by the level of the students. When I had the opportunity to give five lectures, we had every day at least a one hour discussion, and we always went over time, and the questions always reflected the way the students were following the lectures, but also went beyond the lectures and applied to different contexts.

So in all these respects, I think that the Ukrainian Catholic University has been able to construct a kind of island of intellectual excellence, of serious spiritual reflection, engagement with the tradition, both the Ukrainian tradition and the Eastern Christian spiritual tradition, and, I think, create or form a new generation of young professionals who I think one should have hope that they will make an impact on Ukrainian society in the future.

So in all these respects, it’s a very, very impressive enterprise, and I think it deserves support from society. I know the Ukrainian diaspora in American is very supportive, but I would be very, very glad to communicate this message of how impressed I was with every level – intellectual, professional, spiritual – of the university.

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