One of last semester's students, a seminarian finishing what used to be called "philosophy" in the seminary, sent me an email today in which he told me:
- He enjoyed my class very much; and,
- He had put my name on a list of recommended instructors for other seminarians finishing their actual philosophy requirements; so,
- I would be getting a lot more seminarians in my classes; and,
- He hoped that this would lead to my conversion to Catholicism.
Had he told me that he hoped that I would convert from my life of sin or my skepticism or any number of other things, I might have understood, but now I find myself wondering what beliefs he thinks I have or what I may have said in a survey class on the philosophy of mind—other than that appeals to God don't help one in philosophy—that led him to believe that I was raised in no religion or another religion.
I mean, I could return to Catholicism in some sense, but I couldn't be converted to it. Why did he think that I chided him one day outside class on his lack of knowledge of Aquinas?
(1) through (3) are quite nice. My guess, with regard to (4), is that he wasn't drawing the distinction you are between converting and returning to Catholicism. Still, I wonder what lead him to concede you aren't a Catholic.
One of my favorite days at what I believe is the same university as your story was the day when, in a term teaching phil of God, a seminarian was in my office and was shocked to learn that I wasn't Catholic. He thought it clear from my teaching that I was. When he left, another student from the same course came in to object to my teaching the course given that I was obviously an atheist.
When you discuss then debate with the seminarian why you left the Church, as I inferred, I would love to be a fly on the wall to listen in..but right now I can't move because Butters is sleeping on my foot
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