Chapter

Passing on the Faith

JAMES T. FISHER and MARGARET M. MCGUINNESS

in The Catholic Studies Reader

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234103
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240906 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.003.0004

Series: Catholic Practice in North America

Passing on the Faith

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In hearing the phrase “passing on the faith,” images of more than a list of beliefs pass before the eyes of the hearers' imaginations. This chapter reconstructs debates over the nature of authentically Catholic “formation,” both intellectual and spiritual, as conducted by elite figures in Catholic higher education in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. Then, as now, a desire for integration and wholeness was widely shared; the most contentious issue pitted advocates of a rigidly neoscholastic formalism against others intent on producing young Catholic apostles infused with a radical zeal for social justice and openness to engagement with the non-Catholic world. These debates, which engaged leaders from Catholic women's colleges in addition to male clerics, belie the image of “Catholic unity” often ascribed to that era, a view promoted by some intent on making Catholic Studies a vehicle for retrieving the lost world of “integral” Catholicism.

Keywords: Catholic Studies; Catholicism; passing on the faith; Catholic formation; higher education; United States; Catholic unity; Catholic women's colleges; male clerics

Chapter.  8973 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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