On the "core questions" for a liberal arts education

The guiding question of
vision
What shall be our guiding vision of a humane, just, and thriving human community in which all members have opportunity to live fully human lives?
The question ofvirtue What standards of excellence should a community encourage in its members so that they might participate and contribute most fully in the realization of its vision of humane community life?
The question of respect for persons How shall a humane community protect its most vulnerable members and relate to those dissenters, rivals, and enemies who do not share its vision of what constitutes a humane community?
The religious question Which conceptions of ultimate reality best ground the dignity of all human beings and chart the pattern of their interdependent relationships, yet allow us for the discovery of new meanings for individual and communal existence?
The historical question What forces (cultural, economic, social, political) undermine or obstruct the realization of humane community, and what are the necessary preconditions (cultural, economic, social, political) that make it possible?
The aesthetic question How does a portrayal of beauty and a sensitivity to ugliness enhance the ability of a community to keep its vision of humanity and inhumanity keen?
The environmental question How does the natural world discipline — that is, both guide and hedge — the humane community’s vision of how it might thrive?
The prophetic question How shall a humane community — or members of a community that merely claims to be humane — challenge, obstruct and change unjust and inhumane visions or versions of community life?
The personal question How do members find, reject, or reshape their identities within a humane community?
The question of hospitality How shall a humane community welcome persons from other communities, along with the alternative visions or competing claims that they bring?
The question of freedom and dissent How shall a humane community welcome persons from within its own midst who propose alternative visions or conflicting claims?
The question of service and citizenship Communities overlap within communities, within societies, and are linked together around the globe; so how shall members of a more primary community relate to the needs and demands of those in other communities?
The disciplinary question How do different modes of inquiry contribute to the thriving of humane communities, and what conditions allow these disciplines to inquire and contribute most creatively?
The vocational question How shall members of a humane community decide how to make their best contributions to community and society, as well as sort out conflicting cues about how to answer this question?
The question about the forum for questioning! How shall debates be structured between rival clusters of answers to all of these questions?  I.e., how shall the public forum, university, and college of liberal arts be organized so as to encourage humane disagreement and fruitful debate overall that constitutes and contributes to a humane, just, and thriving human community?

 Copyright © 1997, 1999, Gerald W. Schlabach