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Marino reflects on Mandela in Chronicle of Higher Education

MarinoGordon300x350“There can be no denying that Nelson Mandela was one of the giants of history, a giant who moved heaven and earth to bury the apartheid system of South Africa,” St. Olaf College Professor of Philosophy Gordon Marino writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Yet, Marino notes, the question now looms of how best to remember and relate our lives to the iconic leader. He takes a cue from Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, who nudges us away from “the slumber of sleepy of admiration” and toward the action of imitation.

“Above all, Mandela was a relentless combatant, a man of action,” Marino writes. “He pressed world leaders to stanch their rhetoric and walk their talk about justice and equality. On that score, he would, I think, much prefer being remembered in the language of action than as a face on T-shirts and posters.”

Marino is a nationally recognized sports journalist who regularly contributes to publications like the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and New York Times. In addition to his teaching and writing, Marino serves as curator of the Howard and Edna Hong Kierkegaard Library and co-coaches the St. Olaf Boxing Club with Associate Professor of English Carlos Gallego.