The Charles Curran Affair

Mark S. Massa

in The American Catholic Revolution

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199734122
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866373 | DOI:
The Charles Curran Affair

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After writing the Mayflower Declaration in 1968, Charles Curran set about a scholarly agenda of showing how and why the pope’s condemnation was, from a theological point of view, problematic. This agenda led directly to Curran’s dismissal from the faculty of the Catholic University of America, an action that closed down the university and was front-page news across the United States, being itself widely perceived as the first distinctively Catholic debate over academic freedom in a Catholic institution. The protests that followed this dismissal (“the Curran Affair”) represented the first true Catholic protest of the 1960s; parallels are drawn with the Berkeley free speech protests, the antiwar protests at Columbia University, and others.

Keywords: Charles Curran; Catholic University of America; Mayflower declaration; academic freedom; Curran affair; Catholic protest

Chapter.  10928 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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