It has been a stimulating week with the visiting Woodrow Wilson fellow Robert Shetterly on campus. Shetterly has illustrated more than 30 books, as well as the Maine Times, Audubon Adventures, and a collection of his own drawing and etchings, “Speaking Fire at Stones.” He is also a painter, and his collection “Americans Who Tell the Truth” has been traveling around the United States for five years and features more than 120 portraits of courageous individuals–figures who model the values of engaged citizenship and have the courage to work for social justice.
Shetterly has given three public lectures as a part of the college colloquium on HAPPINESS. He has also visited numerous classes and social and service clubs on campus. Within our department, he visited my One Nation Under God? during which he gave a powerful testimonial to Native American views of religion and the connections not only between religion and politics, but more fundamentally, between religion and nature. He also visited two sections of Dr. Valgenti’s Ethics classes, and two sections of Dr. Hubler’s Introduction to Philosophy classes.
This has been a tremendous opportunity for us not simply to hear from Shetterly and about his work, but also to talk with him, to have him hear about and comment on the work we are doing here at LVC, and about our own students’ views of happiness, service, and citizenship. This was certainly what took place yesterday during our departmental lunch with Shetterly. He sat down with students and faculty from the department and engaged us in a probing dialogue about the purposes of a liberal education, and the very real opportunities that we all have to put an education in Religion and/or Philosophy to use in order to make a difference in the world.