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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 Nineteen: Fragment Four: “And Yet, and Yet” (Christopher Gilham, David W. Jardine & Graham McCaffrey)


Fragment Four: “And Yet, and Yet” christopher gilham, david w. jardine & graham mccaffrey DJ: If I may, attached are two poems written by Judson Innes (see Chapters 4 and 15). I think both of these pieces are absolutely brilliant and breathtaking, and they linger nearby our topic in ways that I find illuminating. Time and the predator’s talon strike, and then those suffering calling up to the creators: “we are here; we are here.” Two lovely things that will only take up two pages, but that will give a lilt to the voice of suffering. CG: Thanks David. I read these poems several times over because of where they took me in my thinking and imagining…almost Koan-like and I think very much related to this work. Timely for me too…just got word two days ago that my Sensei in Japan is dying…been thinking about flying there to say goodbye but it is not the Japanese way though I have been told he would like to see me. He is at home, in his bed most of the time…stomach cancer and it seems the hospital sent him home but he may have wanted to be home as well… At the end of a letter he wrote the following: “Please do not worry. This is how I am now.” Those words have been deeply echoing in me these past two days…brewing, like a yet to come eulogy for Sensei on those words which remind me of the...

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