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Sophie Scholl and Cardinal Newman

Apparently, Sophie Scholl, the young resister to Nazism, was influenced by Cardinal Newman. (HT: First Things)I show the movie, and talk about the White Rose Movement, in my class "Faith, Morality, and Law." If you haven't seen Sophie Scholl: THe Final Days, Holy Week is a good week to watch it. There's very clear religious symbolism.I've gotten more interested in teaching film, but have no formal training on how to do it. This May, my colleague Jim Collins from the Department of Film, Television, and Theater is running a one-week long seminar for interested but untrained members of the Notre Dame faculty who want to use film in their classes. I think it will be great!

About the Author

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.



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I thought that movie was amazing and I have recommended it to many. You are so right about the religious symbolism. Overall - a very powerful film.That seminar sounds great - and how good to broaden your scope of teaching. Good things will come of this for you and your students no doubt!

I finally saw the movie last year, and agree with the high praise. It illuminates a little-known angle of that history, apart from the other merits.

Dear Professor Kaveny,I teach in a Jesuit high school in NYC and next year I will be teaching a new course, "Faith Through Fiction and Film." After this seminar you plan to take if you could recommend any reading materials that give ideas on how to teach film, I would be forever in your debt.Thanks,Anthony Andreassi, C.O.

Cathleen, a good online resource (no doubt one of many) is the Journal of Religion & Film sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.See

Used to use film and slide shows in my 1st/2nd year college American History courses. But, what got my attention was your course syllabus as it relates to many of the current discussions about the church - church & catholics in society.You lay out a couple of weeks on the pedagogical role of law in a pluralistic society and the messiness of life. Am always looking to increase my understanding and would welcome it if you could shift the topic or example to the issue before the NY state Senate and the two bills on SOL window legislation. What do you mean by the pedagogical role of law in that situation; what would be the prophetic role of the church? - I think I can see how some activists in SNAP or VOTF might fit your course description in terms of the role of dissidents, etc.Any way, just some questions prompted by your course outline - not trying to steal anything and yes, any response will avoid me having to pay Notre Dame tuition but you get the general idea.

Bill, generally, I'm conservative on SOL issues--across the board. I think generally, reasonable SOLs are a component of sound law. Furthermore, I think the legislature ought not to change the rules for private institutions and not for itself.So the SOL for sexual abuse should be reasonable, given the nature of the offense, and apply to all institutions equally.

Thanks - your responses to the blog above have been very clear and educational. Appreciate that.Also, thanks for making your Santa Clara presentation available....just finished reading it but will need to re-read a few times.Understand your SOL position. Now am trying to parallel your "Jeremiad" approach and examples (i.e. Chaput) to the current efforts to change SOL because individual bishops and dioceses are not addressing sexual abuse - or, at least, its history. Not sure what you do when a segment of the church wants justice for victims and the leadership either does not stand with victims or resists/places obstacles in its way? Where does the catholic in the pew stand? It is messiness; confusing. At times, it appears that doing nothing is to be indifferent to abuse victims; yet, bishops almost leave no other option but to file civil suits or SOL Window legislation. It also touches on the national viewpoint - abuse victims are not seen as important enough to generate legislation to make SOLs for sexual abuse reasonable and applicable to both private and public.Where I get lost it your point about prophecy - should not the church lead on sexual abuse as it did with peace & economics in the 1980's? Yet, obstacles are fairness to accused; settlements that might threaten diocesan finances and all catholics. From my 20+ years in behavioral health, the current SOLs do not reflect professional criteria and standards for reporting sexual abuse....the curretn SOLs are unjust in this regard. So, what does a prophetic catholic do without condemning, without creating division, without sounding/acting like Chaput on the "culture of death". Just not sure.Some day would love to take a course from you - when I'm retired and rich.....yeah, and I have land for sale in West Texas.

Just finished watching "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary," a documentary interview with Traudl Junge who was in her 20s when she was hired by and lived in Hitler's compound in the final days of the war, and interesting counter-point, perhaps, to the film about Scholl.Junge talked about trying (and failing) to absolve herself of complicity with the Nazis due to youth and unsophistication until she noticed a monument to Sophie Scholl in Berlin and realized she and Scholl were the same age. That seemed to be an epiphany moment for her, the point at which she decided that youth did not absolve her from failing to examine the doubts and questions about the war that had begun to bother her while still in Hitler's employment.

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