Esolen to Leave Providence College


Rhode Island liberals like to think of themselves as open minded in the spirit of Providence founder Roger Williams, but they aren’t.  So averse to diversity are they that the state’s most-prominent Catholic institution of higher education has driven out a well-respected professor for being too, well, Catholic:

Anthony Esolen, the prolific Catholic scholar and author known for his distinctly Catholic worldview and translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, has accepted a teaching position at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, severing his ties with Providence College, where he held a tenured professorship and waged a long battle for its Catholic identity. …

Esolen told the National Catholic Register that the turning point for him came after Providence’s president, Dominican Father Brian Shanley, allegedly refused to meet with a small group of Catholic professors intent on resolving the conflict and persuaded the Dominican provincial not to meet with them either.

Esolen explained that he could have lived with a “somewhat Catholic school that was really committed to the humanities” or “an unreservedly Catholic school where the humanities needed shoring up.” However, he concluded Providence offered neither of these options: The campus had become “highly politicized,” and the administrative decisions, to him, appeared “basically secular in their inspiration and their aim.”

Rhode Island’s cultural leaders are open minded to ideas that they already find congenial.  Like the Massachusetts Puritans who drove out Roger Williams, to the extent they’re aware of Esolen, they’ll likely receive the news of his departure with relief that he won’t be drawing attention to the hypocrisy of Leftist secularism.

The conclusion of his controversies with the college ought, instead, to inspire self reflection.  What does it say of a state and a college when a professor will give up tenure to escape it?

  • Richard Bucci

    Sad, Sad day for the College, the Dominicans and the Church in RI. Shanley is a vindictive leftist – one of too many.

    • Mike678

      Vindictive leftist is redundant :)

      • Merle The Monster

        So you took some time off from insisting that comments not employ logical fallacies

        • Mike678

          Yawn…oh, sorry. Please let me know what fallacy I used, will you? the funny thing is that you proved the point, no?

          • Merle The Monster

            Thanks for confirming

          • Mike678

            Confirming what–your ignorance? You do that without my help.

          • Merle The Monster

            So now its ad hominem I can expect from the master debater

          • Mike678

            Ah, Merle…. If I called you stupid instead of debating your “argument,” that would be an ad-hominem.

            “an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.”

            No, my argument is that you ARE ignorant–as well as small and vindictive. My proof? Your own comments. The good thing is that ignorance can be
            reduced–all it takes is effort. Try harder, Merle….

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Esolen is one of those academics with a profile beyond academia, which is unforgivable sin in academia. What did Kissinger say about academic infighting? It’s so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

    College presidents are proof of evolution giving rise to new life forms, in this case a hybrid of jellyfish and chameleon .