‘The hero’ was the title of a workshop led recently by education consultant David Tuohy SJ for chaplains and people who work with youth in Jesuit schools. David proposed ‘the heroic journey’ as a model of personal development, one that could provide both young people and their mentors with a positive and clear narrative. The workshop was part of a conference, held in Manresa, Spain, addressing the issue of how to speak about Jesus in a world of increasingly diverse visions. The attendants came from all around Europe.
David’s theme was born out of his fascination with the constant presence in the history of education of the hero figure, offered to students for emulation. Even in Ancient Greece, the stories of the heroes were taught so as to inspire students to exert themselves for the good of the city state. And the same idea held later for the Roman empire, for Christianity, and for Renaissance humanism. In David’s view, this way of framing personal development in young people remains valuable. It can inspire them to think in terms of using their creativity so as to make a greater contribution to their world. The process of the heroic journey would inculcate attitudes and values in the young people which would give focus and purpose to their years of education.
Listen above to David explaining the purpose of his workshop to Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications.