Friday, October 25, 2013

Catholic Higher Education and Studies in Advanced Relativism

Campus of Georgetown University in Washington
Visiting a Catholic campus this past summer, I passed a class meeting outdoors on that sunny afternoon. A student was presenting to her classmates on the topic of “leadership.” She was confidently expressing to them how she exemplified leadership in her life: “When I speak, I make sure I speak in a way so that people listen. Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about, just speak like you do know and loud enough so that people will believe you.” Was this young woman knowingly spouting examples from Relativism 101? So convincing was she that I fell for her ruse: I believed everything she said in those few seconds I was within earshot.

For those involved in Catholic higher education as students, administrators, faculty and parents this is a unique academic year, one in which the persuasion of the Catholic vision is met with increasing blank stares and uncomprehending minds. What is a Catholic university today? Is the use of the word “Catholic” a mere marketing tool, a brand to attract prospective students from certain economic backgrounds?  (more...)

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