Catholic Studies and Religious Studies


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:

Series: Catholic Practice in North America

Catholic Studies and Religious Studies

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This chapter explores the concept of “tradition,” a key term in negotiations to position Catholic Studies as an interdisciplinary field embedded in the spaces between well-established discourses of religious studies and theology. The relatively recent phenomenon that finds privately endowed positions in Catholic Studies ensconced in both public and private non-Catholic universities has created an unprecedented opportunity and challenge. This chapter suggests that Catholic Studies scholars at secular universities will inhabit a variety of stances in relationship to Catholic tradition. Students in turn will bring their own convictions, from religious doubt to ardent desires that coursework enhance personal faith formation along with intellectual growth. The author herself avows a preferential option for exploring the meanings invested in religious traditions over judging claims made in their name, a practice that might flourish as one among a compelling variety of approaches embraced by scholars in Catholic Studies. Catholic universities are related in some way to the Catholic Church and, thus, are positioned within the Catholic tradition.

Keywords: Catholic Studies; religious studies; theology; Catholic tradition; secular universities; faith; Catholic universities; Catholic Church; religious traditions

Chapter.  6184 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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