Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals

Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals

Edited by JAMES L. HEFT
David B. Burrell series editor
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 204
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    Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals
    Book Description:

    How do Catholic intellectuals draw on faith in their work? And how does their work as scholars influence their lives as people of faith?For more than a generation, the University of Dayton has invited a prominent Catholic intellectual to present the annual Marianist Award Lecture on the general theme of the encounter of faith and profession. Over the years, the lectures have become central to the Catholic conversation about church, culture, and society.In this book, ten leading figures explore the connections in their own lives between the private realms of faith and their public calling as teachers, scholars, and intellectuals.This last decade of Marianist Lectures brings together theologians and philosophers, historians, anthropologists, academic scholars, and lay intellectuals and critics.Here are Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., on the tensions between faith and theology in his career; Jill Ker Conway on the spiritual dimensions of memory and personal narrative; Mary Ann Glendon on the roots of human rights in Catholic social teaching; Mary Douglas on the fruitful dialogue between religion and anthropology in her own life; Peter Steinfels on what it really means to be a liberal Catholic; and Margaret O'Brien Steinfels on the complicated history of women in today's church. From Charles Taylor and David Tracy on the fractured relationship between Catholicism and modernity to Gustavo Gutirrez on the enduring call of the poor and Marcia Colish on the historic links between the church and intellectual freedom, these essays track a decade of provocative, illuminating, and essential thought. James L. Heft, S.M., is President and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and University Professor of Faith and Culture and Chancellor, University of Dayton. He has edited Beyond Violence: Religious Sources for Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Fordham).

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4698-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. INTRODUCTION Catholic Intellectuals: No Ivory Tower
    (pp. 1-9)

    Nearly a decade ago, the first volume of Marianist Award lectures appeared in print.¹ In the preface to that volume, I explained how the University of Dayton, founded by the Marianists (Society of Mary) in 1850, had been giving since 1950 an annual award to a leading Mariologist. Some years after the Second Vatican Council, during a period when many Marian practices fell into desuetude, so did the granting of this annual award. However, the commitment of the university to the support and continued development of its Marian Library remained firm. For example, the leaders of the university and of...

  5. CHAPTER 1 A Catholic Modernity?
    (pp. 10-35)

    I want to say first how deeply honored I am to have been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Marianist Award. I am very grateful to the University of Dayton, not only for their recognition of my work, but also for this chance to raise today with you some issues which have been at the center of my concern for decades. They have been reflected in my philosophical work, but not in the same form as I raise them this afternoon, because of the nature of philosophical discourse (as I see it, anyway), which has to try to persuade...

  6. CHAPTER 2 The Poor and the Third Millennium
    (pp. 36-46)

    I would like to express my gratitude for the Marianist Award. It is a gift. We cannot refuse a gift and we never deserve it. Thus, we may only say thanks a lot. I can say this in the beautiful word we have in Spanish, “gracias.” “Gracias” to this university for this gift, but also “gracias” for the presence of the Marianist people working in my continent and in my own country. I have very good friends among them.

    Father Jim Heft has already announced the subject of this afternoon’s lecture. I still have some difficulties expressing myself in English,...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Forms of Divine Disclosure
    (pp. 47-57)

    A part of our difficulty in addressing the issues of contemporary theology is the failure to consider how the three great separations of modern Western culture have damaged our ability to reflect on modern theology itself.

    These three fatal separations are:

    first, the separation of feeling and thought;

    second, the separation of form and content;

    third, the separation of theory and practice.

    All three of these peculiarly modern separations are related to one another. Moreover, each is based on an originally helpful distinction that became, in modernity, a separation. Recall, for a moment, the original distinctions and their later modern...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Memoirs and Meaning
    (pp. 58-68)

    It is a great honor and pleasure to participate in this historic award. When the invitation came I realized how grateful I was to be asked to reflect on the way my Catholic faith had affected my scholarly life. I had never before given the question the sustained attention it clearly warranted. So I am in your debt for an important stimulus to reflection.

    My Christian faith has certainly led me to my interest in the moral and spiritual dimensions of the journey in time we all make, and since my intellectual bent is literary, I have focused my attention...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Catholic and Intellectual: Conjunction or Disjunction?
    (pp. 69-80)

    My title, “Catholic and Intellectual: Conjunction or Disjunction?” directs attention to the copula, “and.” Does this word bind “Catholic” and “intellectual” in a harmonious and mutually supportive union? Or, does it place these terms in an either/or, contrasting, or even confrontational stance? To be sure, some non-Catholics opt for the second interpretation. As they see it, if one is a Catholic one has to cash in one’s brains. In particular, if one is a Catholic theologian, one is constrained to play Charlie McCarthy to the Edgar Bergen of whoever occupies the throne of Peter, or his self-appointed scriptwriter. Oddly enough,...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Catholicism and Human Rights
    (pp. 81-93)

    I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this year’s Marianist Award. And I was delighted when Father Heft told me I could give this lecture on any aspect of my work, so long as I included a discussion of how my faith has affected my scholarship and how my scholarship has affected my faith. At the time, that sounded like an easy assignment, since it was the experience of representing the Holy See at a United Nations conference that led to the book I have just completed—a history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,...

  11. CHAPTER 7 A Feeling for Hierarchy
    (pp. 94-120)

    To receive the Marianist Award is a great honor. For the occasion I am asked to say something about the influence of my religious faith on my work, or about the interaction of one with the other. This is perhaps a straightforward assignment for a person whose work has been involved with the direction of public affairs. But it is less easy for an anthropologist, partly because it means delving into fairly intimate thoughts as you will see, and partly because of this particular religion, the Roman Catholic faith.

    I once asked Fredrik Barth, the Norwegian anthropologist and Islamicist, whether...

  12. CHAPTER 8 My Life as a “Woman”: Editing the World
    (pp. 121-133)

    The history of our time is a history of change, really of revolutionary change. Revolutions in the sciences, in weaponry, in international relations, in agriculture, in cooking, in relations between men and women, in gender identity, in child rearing. The essential measures of our earthly existence, time and space, we understand in far more complex ways that we did even twenty years ago. Furthermore, all such changes themselves become the springboard for ever greater change, what the British sociologist Anthony Giddens calls “institutional reflexivity.” By that he means “the regularized use of knowledge about circumstances of social life as a...

  13. CHAPTER 9 Liberal Catholicism Reexamined
    (pp. 134-150)

    I was born into the world a liberal Catholic. Exhibit A: My liturgically oriented parents sent out not the standard birth announcement but a card with simple religious symbols and the wording,

    The Lord of life has visited Margaret and Melville Steinfels with a child Peter Francis born a child of Adam on July 15, 1941 reborn of water and the Holy Ghost a child of God on July 27, 1941.

    In 1941, this kind of announcement was enough to cause a stir. One irreverent wag in the family wrote back “Who is this fellow Adam? And does Mel know...

  14. CHAPTER 10 The Faith of a Theologian
    (pp. 151-164)

    In the letter inviting me to accept the Marianist Award for the year 2004, your president, Dr. Curran, suggested that I might take the occasion to speak of the relationship of faith to my own scholarly work. The proposal immediately captured my fancy since faith and theology have been, so to speak, the two poles of my existence. The subject, besides, has considerable importance for our time and place, because many of the difficulties we experience in Church and society are due to the impoverishment of faith or to theology that is not in harmony with faith.

    From their first...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 165-172)
  16. Contributors
    (pp. 173-180)
  17. Index
    (pp. 181-196)