"What a delight to read" Radical Presence, "at once so refreshingly
immediate and yet far reaching in its implications." - Friends
"Radical Presence" is a book about our lives as well as our
work, suggesting that the "secrets" of good teaching are the same
as the secrets of good living: seeing one''s self without blinking,
offering hospitality to the alien other, having compassion for
suffering, speaking truth to power, being present and being real.
These are secrets hidden in plain sight. But in an age that puts
more faith in the powers of technique than in the powers of the
human heart, it takes the clear sight and courage of someone like
Mary Rose O''Reilley to call "secrets" of this sort to our
"Radical Presence" asks, "What might happen if we frame the
central questions of our profession as spiritual issues and deal
with them in light of our spiritual traditions?" The basis of
O''Reilley''s remarks is not religious; it is pedagogical. She does
not preach; she shares. Writing of the human condition, O''Reilley
places herself first in line, not as an ego or leader but as a
friend and guide. Over the course of her journey, she seeks to
discover what spaces we can create in the classroom that will allow
students the freedom to nourish an inner life.
This is an important book that will have a significant impact on
the way educators view teaching and learning. O''Reilley writes,
"Some pedagogical practices crush the soul; most of us have
suffered their bruising force. Others allow the spirit to come
home: to self, to community, and to the revelations of reality.
[This book] is my own try at articulating a space in which teacher
and student can practice this radicalpresence."