The Duke, Divine Comedy, and Discipline at St. Benedict's Prep

Thomas A. McCabe

in Miracle on High Street

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780823233106
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234950 | DOI:
The Duke, Divine Comedy, and Discipline             at St. Benedict's Prep

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the life of Father Dunstan Smith, called “the Duke” and the sense of discipline at St. Benedict's. One of the distinctive elements of a Catholic school education has been its emphasis on discipline. While discipline has always mattered at places like St. Benedict's, the nature of punishment has changed over time, often in surprising ways. By the 1960s, though, Dunstan's rough, ready, and at-times repugnant methods became outdated as students came to question the authority of church and state like never before. While strict discipline and harsh punishment marked student life at St. Benedict's, the school's atmosphere was also part “divine comedy” because there was occasion for discipline with room for fun and humor. In particular, students came to love the telling, and retelling, of so many of the “cat-and-mouse” antics, because in seeking out the divine, discipline at St. Benedict's was often comic.

Keywords: the Duke; Father Dunstan Smith; discipline; divine comedy; punishment

Chapter.  9414 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.