Catholic Social Learning: Educating the Faith That Does Justice

Catholic Social Learning: Educating the Faith That Does Justice

Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Catholic Social Learning: Educating the Faith That Does Justice
    Book Description:

    The canon for Catholic social teaching spreads to six hundred pages,yet fewer than two pages are devoted to Catholic social learning or pedagogy. In this long-needed book, Roger Bergman begins to correct that gross imbalance. He asks: How do we educate (lead out) the faith that does justice? How is commitment to social justice provoked and sustained over a lifetime? To address these questions, Bergman weaves what he has learned from thirty years as a faith-that-does-justice educator with the best of current scholarship and historical authorities. He reflects on personal experience; the experience of Church leaders, lay activists, and university students; and the few words the tradition itself has to say about a pedagogy for justice.Catholic Social Learning explores the foundations of this pedagogy, demonstrates its practical applications, and illuminates why and how it is fundamental to Catholic higher education. Part I identifies personal encounters with the poor and marginalized as key to stimulating a hunger and thirst for justice. Part II presents three applications of Catholic social learning: cross-cultural immersion as illustrated by Creighton University's Semestre Dominicano program; community-based service learning; and the teaching of moral exemplars such as Dorothy Day, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Archbishop Oscar Romero. Part III then elucidates how a pedagogy for justice applies to the traditional liberal educational mission of the Catholic university, and how it can be put into action.Catholic Social Learning is both a valuable, practical resource for Christian educators and an important step forward in the development of a transformative pedagogy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4879-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. PART I Foundations
    • 1. Personal Encounter: The Only Way
      (pp. 3-20)

      The inspiration behindCatholic Social Learning: Educating the Faith That Does Justiceflows from three principal wellsprings: (1) my 30 years as a reflective practitioner of justice education in various faith-related settings; (2) my awareness (for almost as long) that the tradition of Catholic social teaching (hereafter abbreviated as CST) itself has almost nothing to say about Catholic social pedagogy; and (3) my appreciation for and participation (since 1995) in the commitment to justice in Jesuit higher education. I believe that I have learned something from my own experience, that CST has much to learn about pedagogy, and that Ignatian...

    • 2. Ignatian Pedagogy and the Faith That Does Justice
      (pp. 21-38)

      The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the first teaching order in the Church,¹ is known for producing both master teachers and, in the second half of the sixteenth century, the world’s first school system, “one of the most successful . . . the Western world has ever seen.”² Although Ignatius of Loyola had no intention of becoming, in effect, a superintendent of schools when he founded the order in 1540, by the time of his death in 1556, he was overseeing 35 schools still in operation of the 40 he had approved; by the end of the century, when the...

    • 3. Teaching Justice After MacIntyre: Toward a Catholic Philosophy of Moral Education
      (pp. 39-56)

      Thirty years into a career as a social justice educator, half of that directing and teaching in a Justice and Peace Studies program of a Catholic university, I have come to think of myself as something of an Aristotelian. I have discovered that my understanding of justice pedagogy is better articulated, at least in part, by theNicomachean Ethics¹ than by Lawrence Kohlberg’s philosophy² and psychology³ of moral development as inspired by Kant, Piaget, and Rawls. Impressed as I have been by that tradition, it has helped me only marginally to think about how to prepare undergraduates “to be insightful,...

  6. PART II Applications
    • 4. Immersion, Empathy, and Perspective Transformation: Semestre Dominicano, 1998
      (pp. 59-76)

      On Good Friday, 1998, 15 Creighton University undergraduates, two professors and their two teenage children, the program director and his assistant, with two guide/interpreters, participated in a uniquely powerful version of the traditional Catholic devotional practice: the Stations of the Cross. The usual location for this Lenten activity is the nave of a church with its 14 depictions of Jesus’ journey to Calvary. As devotees circumambulate the church’s interior, each scene is described, a prayer said or song intoned, a silence embraced.

      I was one of those professors, and the venue for our Stations of the Cross was the crowded,...

    • 5. “We Make the Road by Stumbling”: Aristotle, Service-Learning, and Justice
      (pp. 77-91)

      InPedagogy of Hope, Paulo Freire relates “the most bruising lesson”¹ he had received in his life as an educator. Early in his career, he was giving a talk in Recife, in the extremely impoverished northeast of Brazil, on Jean Piaget’sThe Moral Judgment of the Child.² At the conclusion, “a man of about forty, still rather young, but already worn out and exhausted, . . . raised his hand and gave a talk that [the famous educator has] never been able to forget.” He reports, many years later, that this peasant’s remarks “seared my soul for good and all.”...

    • 6. Meetings with Remarkable Men and Women: On Teaching Moral Exemplars
      (pp. 92-116)

      Since the first offering in the fall of 1995, I have taught some 50 sections of an upper-division undergraduate seminar titled “Faith and Moral Development,” a required course in the Justice and Peace Studies Program, which I direct. The course is innovative or at least unusual in three ways. First, it is structured as a sequence of three one-credit sections taken over the span of three semesters. The basic rationale for this structure is that such continuity of participation provides a better opportunity for building a sense of intellectual community than if students took a conventional three-credit course for only...

  7. PART II Institution and Program
    • 7. Education for Justice and the Catholic University: Innovation or Development? An Argument from Tradition
      (pp. 119-136)

      The previous chapter concludes Part II, in which the foundational insights and themes developed in the three chapters of Part I—on personal encounter, the Pedagogical Circle, and Catholic justice pedagogy as a MacIntyrian social practice—were seen to be variously at work in three justice pedagogies in university settings: cross-cultural immersion, service-learning, and the study of moral exemplars. In Part III, I turn to issues of Institution and Program. Chapter 7 addresses the foundational question of the place of justice education within the Catholic university. Does it belong at the heart of the university or in campus ministry only?...

    • 8. Aristotle, Ignatius, and the Painful Path to Solidarity: A Pedagogy for Justice in Catholic Higher Education
      (pp. 137-162)

      This final chapter has five purposes: (1) In keeping with the pedagogical practice of repetition, I highlight in narrative fashion the principle images, arguments, insights, and discoveries of the preceding chapters; (2) I bear down more deeply into the question of shame, in both its unhealthy and healthy forms, a perhaps surprising theme in a book on justice education within formal academic settings; (3) I outline how these pedagogical ideas get played out and come together in the undergraduate program I have designed and direct; (4) I offer several especially compelling excerpts from student writing; and (5) I suggest 11...

  8. NOTES
    (pp. 163-182)
    (pp. 183-194)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 195-204)