Jump Start

by Kathleen van Schaijik

Long-time readers are no doubt wondering what gives.  Six years after it began serving FUS a steady diet of bracing and habit-forming discourse, the Concourse suddenly vanished without a trace—leaving several fascinating and valuable conversations (plus our readers) hanging in suspense.  Now, just as abruptly, we’re back.

It’s a long story, and not a very interesting one. So let’s just sum it up metaphorically by saying that due to an over-draw on the main power supply, a key fuse blew, and before the back-up generators could kick in, the emergency batteries drained completely. We never made an announcement about it, because we could never bring ourselves to declare it defunct.  There was always hope of a revamp. Now, finally, all systems are go.  We can’t promise there won’t be some sputters and flickers and fits and starts, but we have good hope that once we work up some momentum, we’ll be humming along nicely again.

It’s awkward to re-begin right at the end of a school year, but we had the material, and we didn’t like to wait until September to get it out there.  We hope readers will use the long summer to mull over the articles and issues herein, and prepare rejoinders or kudos or fresh angles or new topics or what have you to grace next semester’s pages.  Our ability to continue publishing depends on it.

We have one important change to announce.  When we began the Concourse in 1996, the editors all lived in Steubenville and were closely connected with the day to day life of Franciscan University.  These days we are rather spread out, and (at least some of us) less in touch with the dear alma mater.  Two of the editors are now linked to Ave Maria College.  Given this, plus the happy historical and cultural ties between FUS and AMC, it seems good to the editors that the Concourse be reoriented to serve both.  We also plan to distribute in Gaming, where both AMC and FUS have semester abroad programs, and in Nicaragua, at Ave Maria of the Americas; at St. Mary’s of Ave Maria University, and at Ave Maria Law School, where numerous FUS alumni are now studying. 

We are in the process of revising our editorial policies and reconstituting our advisory board, to better reflect our nature as an inter-collegiate journal.

There will be some other changes as well.  For instance, in the interest of toughening our intellectual skins, and of placing truth more squarely in the center of our attention, we will no longer discourage anonymous contributions. The editors are ever more convinced that an mistaken stress on things like “affirmation” and “being positive” and “not hurting feelings” is doing serious harm to the vigor of the intellectual life of the Church (responsibility for which belongs properly to institutions such as ours.)  We have simply got to learn to be less sensitive and self-preoccupied all the time!  Otherwise, how will we cope when we are launched out into a hostile world?  “If you cannot race on foot, how will you compete against horses?” 

No one should take this to mean that the Concourse is weakening its commitment to courtesy in discourse.  Au contraire.  Nastiness we deplore as much as banality and bogosity.  Wit we love.  Satire we will entertain.  We will be biting when called for, but also humane. The great Christian controvertialists of the ages are our models in this as in other things.

Our basic aim of being an open forum for intelligent, lively, faith-filled and truth-centered discussion about ideas that are important to university men and women remains what it was.  Please do join in.

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I,1 NFP, by itself, does not compromise the marriage vocation I,2 What is a ‘real’ Catholic education? I,3 Orthodox not paradox I,4 How does a university evangelize? I,4 NFP and connaturality I,5 Thomism and intellectual freedom I,7 Keeping our worship in step with ‘what the Spirit is saying’ to FUS II,1 Can charismatics and traditionalists peacefully coexist? II,1 The horror of polygamy and the persistence of chauvinistic theories in Catholic academia II,2 The challenge of the Concourse: discussion without (much) contention II,3 When old ideas are breaking up II,4 Why the polygamy problem is not as passe as it appears: Kathleen van Schaijik responds to critics II,9 Why ‘charismatic spirituality’ belongs at the heart of our communal life III,1 What is the University Concourse? III,1 How not to help households III,3 Silence betokens ... What? III,4 The freedom of stricture III,5 What were households meant to be? III,5 Different degrees of authority IV,1 Love Never Leaves IV,2 Faith and Reason IV,5 A different perspective on the modesty question IV,6 Strangers to the world V,1 New face, same spirit V,3 The ‘Stratford man’ and the Shakespearean canon: no match at all V,4 Bringing the masses from starvation to full strength V,6 Branching out through Christus Magister V,6 Kathleen van Schaijik replies to John Doman on Shakespeare V,7 A Catholic critique of a current notion of courtship VI,1 The evil of exorcising judgement VII,1 Jump Start VII,1 Abusing NFP VII,1 It’s not the Vatican, it’s the laity III,6 Last words (for now) III,6 A suggestion regarding Extraordinary Ministers III,6 Catholic teaching on capital punishment III,6 A final thought on the household issue III,6 What is our mission, really? III,6 What if Shakspere wasn’t Shakespeare? III,6 Clinton’s sorry legacy III,6 Evolution III,6 Intimidated? Please don’t be. III,6 A gift for the graduates of ‘98 III,6 A point of policy III,6 A point of principle III,6 A word of thanks IV,7 Happy & sad IV,7 Oxford gaining on Shakspere IV,7 Of private and collegiate morality IV,7 Newman, education and context IV,7 Witnesses to Faith in the face of death IV,7 Viva the class of ‘99! IV,7 A prize winning physicist out of his depth IV,7 A positive psychology IV,7 How to become a leader IV,7 Campus politics IV,7 Thanksgiving V,8 Fr. Michael’s achievement V,8 Charity may be severe V,8 On the other side of the same coin V,8 The Weimar Republicans V,8 Drawing out an analogy V,8 Beware of economic Puritanism V,8 How to support the Concourse by buying books V,8 Shakespeare debate update V,8 What the education debate is and isn’t about V,8 Dear Class of 2000 V,8 Thanksgiving