Literary Recommendations

23 Jun

I recently read an excellent book, The Unlikely Disciple.

It was written – incredibly well – by a Brown University student who took a semester off and enrolled at Liberty University, a super evangelical school. This kid did such a good job that a professor at Liberty even wrote a positive review of the book.

First off, the book is extremely entertaining for its interpersonal dramas and getting to know what happens to all of the “characters,” who are real people with their names changed.

Then there’s the cultural aspect. A place like Liberty is like nowhere I’ve ever been, a place where everyone has a shared system of beliefs that guides every single decision they make. Yes, there was diversity among the Liberty students, but not nearly as much as you would see in a normal university. I could tell that Kevin Roose, the author, was fascinated by what he found and that definitely came across in the book.

And, of course, I compared it to here. The question, “Too Catholic or Not Catholic Enough?” has come up numerous times in my three years here and I know people strongly on both sides of the debate. Personally, even though I’m not religious at all, I knew coming in that I was enrolling in a Catholic school. It’s turned out to really be a non-issue, because the Jesuits are ridiculously liberal.

Liberty University is not.

No drinking, no smoking, no cursing, no doing anything but holding hands with a boyfriend/girlfriend…the list goes on. It would definitely be a bit of a culture shock. Here, we don’t really have any rules that aren’t also laws. I guess there’s the “no inter-visitation pas 2 a.m.” thing, but I’ve never actually known anyone to take that seriously as a rule.

Anyways. We are not an excessively religious school and anyone who thinks we are is ridiculous. Also this book is awesome and you should read it.


One Response to “Literary Recommendations”

  1. ianmulligan08 August 3, 2013 at 5:37 am #

    Would we say that Gonzaga is a progressive Catholic institution? I mean there are a few things I can think of that some people would reference to say no.

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