JOHN THOMPSON LECTURE — The John Thompson lecture Jan. 26, hosted by the St. Thomas More Student’s Union, featured STM Prof. Alan Reese speaking of his personal journey from a secular upbringing to a faith integrating mind and heart and looking at the connection between knowledge and heaven. Reese introduced a vision of knowledge that bridges the dichotomy of mind and heart that has plagued the western tradition for centuries. Inspired by the Tibetan Buddhists’ confidence in the basic goodness of us all, Reese introduced the Buddhist ideal of bodhichitta — a word that does not easily translate into English but suggests the union of compassion and wisdom expressed in the Christian tradition as the mind of Christ. The juxtaposition of bodhichitta and the mind of Christ allows a glimpse of a truth that is more than a doctrine of a particular religion or culture; it is a truth that speaks to our common humanity and its quest for true higher education: “The noble heart/mind that aspires to wisdom and compassion dedicated to enlightenment.” Reese has spent his life in an ongoing dialogue between his own roots in the western tradition of Christian humanism and the wisdom of South Asia, his boyhood home.
(Jaquie Berg photo)