The Limits of Truth.Alice Gallin, O.S.U., Negotiating Identity: Catholic Higher Education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. since 1960. Notre Dame Notre Dame IPA: [nɔtʁ dam] is French for Our Lady, referring to the Virgin Mary. In the United States of America, Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press The University of Notre Dame Press is a university press that is part of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, United States. External link
Alice Gallin begins her fine account of recent American Catholic higher education by following the money: the increase in government funding in the late 1960s demanded a muted religious presence. There were fewer overtly Catholic courses. Theology became religious studies and philosophy lost its apologetic function. Since they no longer integrated the curriculum, these disciplines could not supply the answer to the question of what makes the institution at which they were taught Catholic. After all, non-Catholic institutions had many of the same courses in their catalogs.
As the presence of members of the religious order that founded the college or university diminished through defection, death, and lack of vocations, the importance of the lay faculty increased. For a while this worked as a way of sustaining a Catholic identity because many of these faculty were practicing Catholics who shared and enthusiastically supported the mission set down by the founding order. But this partnership of the remaining religious and the older lay faculty also ran its course. By the 1980s and most certainly the 1990s, the tight job market enabled even mediocre Catholic colleges and universities to hire highly credentialed faculty with little regard given to their religious inclination let alone their Catholicism or lack of it. An unambiguous Catholic identity could no longer be sustained. From this perspective it is no wonder that the Vatican and the bishops got involved, and that at many institutions the administration rather than the faculty raised the issue of Catholic identity. Ex Corde E cclesiae did not emerge from the blue.
This American context was misunderstood by the Vatican which relied on its familiarity with a European view of Church/State relations. In nineteenth-century Europe the demand for Church control of how theology was taught and who taught it was not only a response to secularization but also a necessary protection against the interference of often virulently anticlerical an·ti·cler·i·cal
Opposed to the influence of the church or the clergy in political affairs.
an ministries of education. Of course, it soon became clear that this approach "took no note of the unique American system The term American System can mean one of the following:
Academic freedom is certainly one of the most divisive areas in negotiating a Catholic identity. Catholic institutions before Vatican II Noun 1. Vatican II - the Vatican Council in 1962-1965 that abandoned the universal Latin liturgy and acknowledged ecumenism and made other reforms
Second Vatican Council
Vatican Council - each of two councils of the Roman Catholic Church took academic freedom to mean that professors were free to teach what was true. As Duquesne University's guidelines put it in the language of the 1940: "Academic freedom, like all things finite, has its limitations. To transgress those limits is not freedom but license. For there is such a thing as objective reality, truth that is truth regardless of what any particular human mind may think to the contrary. Consequently no man is free to teach objective falsehood simply because subjectively he fancies it to be the truth" (5). Imagine the reaction of contemporary Postmodernists to such unabashed and unscarequoted references to objectivity and truth, and of feminists to the sexist language.
As it happened, economic pressures and the loosening of the reins of authority after Vatican II led most Catholic colleges and universities in the 1960s and 1970s to replace this view of academic freedom with one more compatible with the guidelines accepted by almost all American colleges and universities. Council documents and encyclicals like Gaudium et Spes Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, was one of the chief accomplishments of the Second Vatican Council. Approved by a vote of 2,307 to 75 of the bishops assembled at the council, and was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December made academic freedom an easy sell to most leaders of Catholic higher education. But today, with the rapid disappearance of Catholic lay and religious faculty, to follow without any qualification the AAUP AAUP
American Association of University Professors
AAUP n abbr (= American Association of University Professors) → asociación de profesores universitarios
AAUP guidelines on academic freedom would severely compromise, if not eliminate altogether, the "Catholic" in "Catholic university."
Gallin lays out for the reader the outline of what constitutes a Catholic institution of higher education. It should have a communal, not merely an individual, commitment to Catholicism, present a dialogue between Catholicism and the advances in knowledge, be faithful to the Church as a conduit for the meaning of the faith, and serve students and others according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. its Catholic mission. In order to preserve a Catholic identity without returning to the older notion of academic freedom exemplified by the Duquesne guidelines, colleges and universities have tried various initiatives. For example, to insure that those not well versed Versed® Midazolam Pharmacology A preoperative sedative in Catholicism are cognizant of the issues raised by Catholic identity in-house seminars on the Catholic mission of the institution and programs like the Collegium col·le·gi·um
n. pl. col·le·gi·a or col·le·gi·ums
1. An executive council or committee of equally empowered members, especially one supervising an industry, commissariat, or other organization in the Soviet Union. project, which bring faculty from various Catholic colleges and universities together to discuss the issues relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc Catholic identity, have been developed. In addition, some colleges and universities have developed pro grams in Catholic Studies to help convey the meaning of Catholicism to students. Finally, Institutes of Catholic Studies for research have been funded.
As I was reading Negotiating Identity I recalled attending a conference as a graduate student at which I witnessed an exchange between Sidney Hook Sidney Hook (December 20 1902–July 12 1989) was a prominent New York intellectual and philosopher who championed pragmatism. Biography
Born in Brooklyn to Jennie and Issac Hook, Austrian-Jewish immigrants, Hook was a Socialist Party supporter during the Debs era and Henry Aiken, a moral philosopher from Harvard. I forget the exact subject under discussion but I do remember that Aiken in a gentle and civil manner was trying to work out a rapprochement between two rival positions. Hook would have none of it. Aiken replied that all he was trying to do was to carry water on both shoulders. An unfortunate example because Hook retorted that Aiken would wind up with water on the brain.
I relate this anecdote anecdote (ăn`ĭkdōt'), brief narrative of a particular incident. An anecdote differs from a short story in that it is unified in time and space, is uncomplicated, and deals with a single episode. because I fear that Sr. Alice Gallin is likely to be subjected to the same kind of unwarranted attack. In a recent review in First Things First Things is a monthly ecumenical journal concerned with the creation of a "religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society" (First Things website). it has already happened. In his review of Negotiating Identity Ishmael Law charges that negotiating will end badly for (his version of) Catholicism because academics are not to be trusted. Law compares them to "your lovable ex-con brother-in-law who keeps wanting you to cosign cosign v. to sign a promissory note or other obligation in order to share liability for the obligation. the loan for his Jaguar" (August-September 2000, 63). Happily, if she foresaw this sort of criticism, Gallin was not deterred from trying to reach a still point in the controversy over what makes a college or university Catholic in her nuanced and fair-minded treatment of a thanklessly complex and contested issue.
James E. Giles is a member of the Editorial Board of CrossCurrents.