Edited by Robert E. Sullivan
This is the inaugural volume in the Erasmus Institute Books series. Founded in 1997, the institute strives to build bridges between Catholic thought and secular scholarship by encouraging the application of Catholic intellectual traditions to research in the humanities and social sciences, including the arts and professional fields such as law. The institute also supports parallel work grounded in the intellectual traditions of other Christian faiths, of Judaism, and of Islam. The essays in this volume began as papers delivered at a conference on “Higher Learning and Catholic Traditions” held at the University of Notre Dame in October 1999.
In Higher Learning and Catholic Traditions a number of distinguished academics from various disciplines and different religious convictions present their views on the complex relations between some important aspects of Catholic thought and modern academic culture and knowledge.
The contributors discuss the development of specialized disciplines, the fragmentation of academic knowledge, and the apparent isolation of Christian intellectual traditions from the discourse of the modern university. More tellingly, some of the contributors also subvert the conventional story of uniform estrangement and decline. They uncover strong evidence of symmetry, convergence, and even interdependence in unsuspected places.
The result is a sustained, critical analysis of the role of Catholic intellectual traditions within modern higher education and a token of the insight which may come from continuing to reappraise the relationship between academic knowledge and Christian thought and that of the other Abrahamic religions.
Contributors: Alasdair MacIntyre, Alan Wolfe, John Polkinghorne, Bruce Russett, Nicholas Boyle, Mary Ann Glendon, and Jean Bethke Elshtain