How should we respond to manifestations of Hell on earth?   The answer we give is a matter of prescription.  One form of prescription is obligation.  In the preceding section, we discussed the moral implications of the view we take of Hell.  In this section, I want to ask whether we have a duty to follow our moral principles.
In preparation for this section of the seminar, reflect upon the position of “The Hangman”  WATCH




ROMANS 15:1 “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
27.  Thursday, December 3
As you read deJesus’s incredible autobiography, Child of the Dark, ask yourself the following questions:
What does it mean to be poor?
What accounts for human resilience among the poor?
What are human beings entitled to by virtue of their humanity
  • Carolina Maria de Jesus, Child of the Dark.  Read the entire book
  •  Consider this piece of Americana:  WATCH




30.  Tuesday, December 8.
The goal is this concluding section our of seminar is to meditate on the plight of the refugee, not necessarily to get into the nitty-gritty political questions surrounding the world refugee crisis.  To this end, I would like you to be prepared to talk about the following issues:
What does it mean to be a refugee?
Why do we, as human beings, struggle with the issue of empathy?
If we should be empathetic, how can we be sure that we will be?
  • Jesus the Refugee – Matthew 2:1-15 READ AND PRINT
  • A Mercy Corps report on Syrian Adolescents  PRINT AND READ (entire report)
  • “Europe’s Refugee Crisis, Explained” READ (Background  Reading)
  • “Where Syrian Children Sleep”  VIEW
  • Excerpt from Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem:  REREAD (focus on the issue of empathy, p. 49)
  • “What, me care?  Young are less empathetic”  READ


31.   Thursday, December 10.
During this final day of the seminar, I will share some reflections with you and ask you some questions.
  • Sting, “The Russians”  LISTEN      Lyrics  READ



Well…. we didn’t make it through my ten images of Hell.  I had also planned for us to meditate on TORTURE and our NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.  In any case, recent events in the real world have given us the opportunity to talk about another kind of Hell, the plight of the REFUGEE.   All of these manifestations of Hell will be with us for years to come in the Twenty-first Century.  To our good fortune, we will still be able to draw upon an invaluable, human resource in contending with them:  HOPE
TAKE NOTE:  Your Final Essay Assignment  IS HERE


NB:Please leave your technology at home. This includes electronic devices of any kind, such as laptops, i-Pads, cell phones, tape recorders, Kindles, trap and trace monitors, video cameras, or other personal digital devices.