Monday, February 23, 2015

Capstone Project Explores the Nature of Friendship

News Brief by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Phillip Shifflet, a college seminarian studying for the Diocese of Orange, presented his capstone project to faculty, staff, and students of Mount Angel Seminary.

Dr Andrew Cummings, Shifflet's director, introduced Shifflet at the beginning of his presentation.  Dr. Seymour House served as his reader, and Dr. Mark Van Ness served as his English Standards reader.  At the beginning of his talk, Shifflet thanked his committee, as well as several past and current writing assistants from the MAS Writing Center who helped him with his work.

Shifflet's capstone is entitled " 'I Have Called You Friends': The Nature of Friendship and Social Media's Role in Its Cultivation."

Phillip Shifflet

In his presentation, Shifflet discussed the the three main sections of his capstone: the nature of friendship, cultivating friendships, and the question of social media.

The thesis of his project is: "Friendships cultivated through the abuse of social media seek to fulfill an innate desire to be known, accepted, and loved; but true fulfillment of these longings can only be found in what St. Aelred of Rievalux calls spiritual friendship, the cultivation of which would exclude a presence on social media platforms."

Shifflet's capstone project will be available at the end of the semester through the Mount Angel Abbey Library.

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