Engaging the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Across the Disciplines The Importance of Catholicity in Our Current Moment

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Gregory Kalscheur

Abstract

The Catholic Intellectual Tradition should animate the academic life and educational mission of Catholic colleges and universities. A clearer focus on the catholicity of the tradition — its aspiration to wholeness — will help us better understand what it means to engage the tradition in the heart of the institution’s academic mission. The Catholic Intellectual Tradition is best described as a conversation open to an uninhibited process of questioning that leads across disciplinary boundaries with an openness to questions of wholeness and ultimacy, a conversation in which all are invited to participate as a leaven for their scholarly lives. The Catholic college or university that is truly animated by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition will therefore be a community engaged in a certain sort of conversation: a diverse community of teachers, scholars, students, and administrators sharing life together, working and talking together, in the shared pursuit of truth and wholeness.

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