Cornel West and Prophetic Thought

For West, the educated person is a "prophetic thinker." Prophetic thought involves 4 elements:

A. DISCERNMENT -- "the capacity to provide a deep and analytical grasp of the present in light of the past." A nuanced and robust historical understanding, as it relates to our time and situation.

B. CONNECTION -- "empathy is the capacity to get in contact with the anxieties and frustrations of others." Concerned about the welfare and feelings of others (love). Others are human subjects, worthy of respect, not mere objects or instruments. This is very important for teachers. However, scientific approaches to education, or the generalizable methodologies of the "science of pedagogy," reduce human connections and relationship to an objectified status.

C. Tracking hypocrisy -- be able to expose the "gap between principles and practice, between promise and performance, between rhetoric and reality." Have the courage to exhibit a self-crtical reflection on ideals and actions.

D. Hope -- "history is incomplete, the world is unfinished, and the future is open-ended and that what we think and what we do can make a difference."

Cornel West And Prophetic Thought
Csaba Osvath
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