The Future of Catholic Higher Education

ISBN : 9780197568880

James L. Heft
288 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The Catholic Church has gone through more change in the last sixty years than in the previous six hundred. These changes have caused a significant shift in the future outlook of Catholic higher education as the United States has developed a culture that has grown less receptive to religious traditions and practices. Drawing upon his extensive experience, James Heft lays out the current state of Catholic higher education and what needs to be done to ensure that Catholicism isn't fazed out of the educational system. Heft analyzes the foundational intellectual principles of Catholic Higher Education, and both the strengths and weaknesses of the present day system in order to look at possibilities for its future. Drawing upon both history and current cultural trends, The Future of Catholic Higher Education critiques the secularization thesis, explores the role of bishops, theologians, dissent, the sensus fidelium, the role of women and freedom of conscience, the relationship between theology and religious studies, hiring practices and curricular designs. Using the image of the "open circle," Heft advances a vision of the catholic university that is neither a "closed circle" of only Catholics nor a "market place of ideas with no distinctive mission." His "open circle" is one that fosters the Catholic intellectual tradition by including scholars of many religions, rooting Catholic social thought in Catholic doctrine, defending academic freedom and the mandatum.


The On-Going Conversation
Part I: True Norths
1. Jesus and the University
2. Mary and the Intellectual Life
3. John Henry Newman in Context
Part II: The University and the Church
4. Secularization and Catholic Higher Education
5. A University that Evangelizes
6. Ex corde ecclesiae and the Mandatum
7. Bishops and Theologians
Part III: Faculty and the University Mission
8. Academic Freedom and the Open Circle
9. Faculty Recruitment and Formation
10. Teaching and Research
11. Humility and Courage
12. Liberal Education
13. Theology in the Catholic University
Part IV: Co-Curricular and Curricular Dimensions
14. Campus Ministers and Academics
15. Catholic Studies Programs and Catholic Identity
16. The Future of Catholic Higher Education in the United States


Fr. James L. Heft S.M. (Marianist) is Alton Brooks Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California and founder of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. He served for nearly thirty years at the University of Dayton as the chair of Religious Studies Department, then Provost, and finally Chancellor and University Professor, before moving to Los Angeles to found the inter-faith and inter-religious research center.