Chapter

Faculty and Students Engaging the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Melanie M. Morey and John J. Piderit

in Catholic Higher Education

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305517
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784813 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195305515.003.0004
 Faculty and Students Engaging the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

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This chapter discusses the first of the major themes to emerge from research data: how senior administrators understand the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the role it plays in the academic life of their institutions across all disciplines. It looks at various issues such as Catholic cultural illiteracy, hiring for mission, and the role of theology and philosophy in the curriculum. Desired characteristics of faculty, be they Catholic or non-Catholic, at Catholic institutions are identified. The heart of a university is academic content and, to be genuinely Catholic, Catholic institutions have to emphasize their academic content in an appropriate way. Philosophy may have been the central content welcomed by students at Catholic institutions in the first half of the 20th century. An important issue is what the modern “Catholic content” ought to be. The major threats to Catholic cultural inheritability and distinguishability in the academic sector are examined. The implications of present practice within all four collegiate models for the vitality of Catholic culture in the academic sector are also explored. Finally, the chapter suggests strategic approaches to enhance distinguishability without posing a market threat to inheritability.

Keywords: Catholic; intellectual tradition; strategies; hiring for mission; academics; theology; philosophy; inheritability; distinguishability

Chapter.  15659 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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