God Talk Across and Between the Boundaries of Traditions

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Given the context of Catholic higher education where theology classrooms are not populated with a majority of “traditioned” Catholic students, this essay asks if it is possible to hand on knowledge of and appreciation for the Catholic faith without tending toward the extremes of either “Catholic tight” or “Catholic lite.” Teaching theology well, the author argues, requires teachers to begin by asking, “Who are our students?” and to be attentive to the plurality internal to the twenty-first century Catholic collegiate context. By leveraging millennial student capacities, the “lite” and “tight” approaches to theology become a false alternative. In their place, the author argues for a pedagogy that is informed and inspired by public theology. This approach focuses on exploring transcendence across the boundaries of multiple traditions, so as to enable students to transform their theological habits of mind.

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