TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Pepperdine Campus PhotoOne of the things I love most about living and working at Pepperdine is the many opportunities it affords to discuss issues of faith with students in a variety of settings.  Last night, I was delighted to have the opportunity to give a talk on humility at the law student-led Wednesday night bible study.  It was great to spend time with the students outside of class and share my take on one of the central aspects of  the Christian faith, memorably captured by C.S. Lewis:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.

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I would challenge you to bring this into the classroom. Professionalism is collapsing, with some states attempting to enforce it through training and rules. But shouldn't faculty model and teach humility, at appropriate times, in the classroom? We need a more holistic approach in the classroom, which not only develops logical skills but also character.

Posted by: Beau Baez | Oct 10, 2013 5:42:12 AM

The CS Lewis quote makes me think of Uriah Heep from David Copperfield:
"I am well aware that I am the umblest person going... My mother is likewise a very umble person. We live in a numble abode, Master Copperfield, but have much to be thankful for."

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Oct 10, 2013 7:41:47 AM

Or is that just a paraphrase of what Jack Lewis wrote? It is, according to this blog post:

For those who missed the sarcasm in the reference to Uriah Heep, here is the Wikipedia take on the Dickens character:

The character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity, making frequent references to his own "'humbleness". His name has become synonymous with being a yes man.

Since Southern California has become the center of the millionaire church industry, perhaps an ecumenical Bible class with the students from Loyola Law (Los Angeles) would be beneficial. The Jesuits lately have cornered the market on humility, with the elevation of one of their own to church leadership.

Posted by: Bob Kamman | Oct 10, 2013 8:24:50 AM