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On the Pedagogy of Suffering

Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations


Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey

This text articulates how and why suffering can be pedagogical in character and how it is often key to authentic and meaningful acts of teaching and learning. This is an ancient idea from the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus (c. 525 BCE) – pathei mathos or «learning through suffering». In our understandable rush to ameliorate suffering at every turn and to consider every instance of it as an error to be avoided at all costs, we explore how the pedagogy that can come from suffering becomes obscured and something vital to a rich and vibrant pedagogy can be lost. This collection threads through education, nursing, psychiatry, ecology, and medicine, through scholarship and intimate breaths, and blends together affinities between hermeneutic conceptions of the cultivation of character and Buddhist meditations on suffering and its locale in our lives. This book will be useful for graduate courses on hermeneutic research in education, educational psychology, counseling, and nursing/medicine.


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Chapter Four: A Pocket of Darkness (Judson Innes)


A Pocket of Darkness judson innes C h a p T e r f o u r The comfort of timely darkness is banished by artificial, unearthly glow. On the extremes of the city the eternal, held off, awaits. In the coulee a pocket of darkness. Marbled pairs of reflected light, briefly glow, then shimmer and fade out. Alone now, they wind through tangles, relentless, and re-emerge into one. Call up to the creators; we are here, we are here. What of those who occupy the spaces in between, and linger along the precipice. Outlines given vague shape by the fleeting; ephemeral and haunting. Await the familiar, an echo emerging from below.

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