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Believing Scholars

Ten Catholic Intellectuals

James Heft

Publication Year: 2005

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).

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page

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pp. iii


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pp. v-vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii

In any published work of this sort, many people have participated. I wish here to acknowledge several individuals who have made the Marianist Awards possible. First, thanks for the educational vision and administrative skills of Bro. Ray Fitz, S.M., the president of the University of Dayton for twenty-three years (1979–2002), and to his...

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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...

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Chapter 1: A Catholic Modernity?

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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...

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Chapter 2: The Poor and the Third Millennium

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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...

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Chapter 3: Forms of Divine Disclosure

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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...

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Chapter 4: Memoirs and Meaning

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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...

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Chapter 5: Catholic and Intellectual: Conjunction or Disjunction?

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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...

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Chapter 6: Catholicism and Human Rights

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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...

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Chapter 7: A Feeling for Hierarchy

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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...

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Chapter 8: My Life as a ‘‘Woman’’: Editing the World

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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...

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Chapter 9: Liberal Catholicism Reexamined

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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,...

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Chapter 10: The Faith of a Theologian

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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...


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pp. 165-172


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pp. 173-180


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pp. 181-196

E-ISBN-13: 9780823246984
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823225255
Print-ISBN-10: 0823225259

Page Count: 204
Publication Year: 2005