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Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World

Justice in Jesuit Higher Education

Mary Beth Combs

Publication Year: 2013

Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World is an insightful collection that articulates how Jesuit colleges and universities create an educational community energized to transform the lives of its students, faculty, and administrators and to equip them to transform a broken world. The essays are rooted in Pedro Arrupe's ideal of forming men and women for others and inspired by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach's October 2000 address at Santa Clara in which he identified three areas where the promotion of justice may be manifested in our institutions: formation and learning, research and teaching, and our way of proceeding. Using the three areas laid out in Fr. Kolvenbach's address as its organizing structure, this stimulating volume addresses the following challenges: How do we promote student life experiences and service? How does interdisciplinary collaborative research promote teaching and reflection? How do our institutions exemplify justice in their daily practices? Introductory pieces by internationally acclaimed authors such as Rev. Dean Brackley, S.J.; David J. O'Brien; Lisa Sowle Cahill; and Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., pave the way for a range of smart and highly creative essays that illustrate and honor the scholarship, teaching, and service that have developed out of a commitment to the ideals of Jesuit higher education. The topics covered span disciplines and fields from the arts to engineering, from nursing to political science and law. The essays offer numerous examples of engaged pedagogy, which as Rev. Brackley points out fits squarely with Jesuit pedagogy: insertion programs, community-based learning, study abroad, internships, clinical placements, and other forms of interacting with the poor and with cultures other than our own. This book not only illustrates the dynamic growth of Jesuit education but critically identifies key challenges for educators, such as: How can we better address issues of race in our teaching and learning? Are we educating in nonviolence? How can we make the college or university "greener"? How can we evoke a desire for the faith that does justice? Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World is an indispensable volume that has the potential to act as an academic facilitator for the promotion of justice within not only Jesuit schools but all schools of higher education.

Published by: Fordham University Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-xii

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pp. 1-6

A few years ago a young man shared with me his enthusiasm about starting as a teacher in one of our Jesuit schools. Although he realized that he would be teaching privileged students, he said he welcomed the opportunity to form leaders who would occupy important posts in society...

Part I: Formationand Learning

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pp. 9-12

These words from Father Kolvenbach’s historic 2000 address at Santa Clara University to leaders of US Jesuit higher education, ‘‘The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education,’’ headed the invitation for contributions to this part of the book. The committee invited proposals describing the ‘‘kinds of learning’’...

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1 Beauty Limned in Violence

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pp. 13-27

The title of this book, Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World, implies a costly and sometimes terrible grace that we may not readily wish upon ourselves or our students—the grace of solidarity and sacrifice, even the grace of martyrdom. As the lives of St. Ignatius...

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2 Teaching Poverty in Americathrough the Arts

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pp. 28-49

During the final moments of Suzan Lori-Parks’s Pulitzer Prize– winning play Topdog/Underdog, the audience is holding its breath. As the stage lights come down and the house lights go up, there is no immediate burst of applause—there is silence, a confused, disturbed, and stunning silence. Even after the formal response to the play has...

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3 Encuentro Dominicano

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pp. 50-66

In March 2007 fifteen students from Encuentro Dominicano, Creighton University’s study abroad program in the Dominican Republic, had been immersed in a small rural and very poor community called Ocho de los Caballeros (Eight of the Gentleman). It is a small fishing community squatting illegally on the shore of a very large inland lake...

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4 Teaching Social Analysis through Academic Immersion

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pp. 67-86

The above comments reflect the transformative impact that a unique academic immersion experience in post–Hurricane Katrina New Orleans had on twenty-three college students. Although it has been over seven years since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina transformed the environmental, social, and cultural landscapes of the US...

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5 Adopting the Mission of Social Justice in a Political Science Department

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pp. 87-106

As members of a political science department at a Jesuit college, we have asked ourselves many times: What is our mission and what does it mean for us?
The answers, for indeed there are several, have not come easily. The five full-time faculty have been constantly pulled in different directions by such practical considerations as marketing concerns,...

Part II: Research and Teaching

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pp. 109-117

The most obvious, traditional, and defining mission of institutions of higher education is the cultivation and dissemination of knowledge, captured in the phrase ‘‘research and teaching.’’ The virtues of the university are the virtues of speculative reason that lead to contemplation of the truth: wisdom, science, and understanding. The intellectual...

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6 Social Justice Themes in the Foreign Language Classroom

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pp. 118-134

In recent years, many institutions, including Jesuit ones, have incorporated a service learning component within their foreign language courses. The pedagogical benefits of providing students with an opportunity to interact with native speakers through community service projects have received some attention in the literature...

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7 Coffee for Justice

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pp. 135-158

Pedro Pablo Ortiz and his wife Marta and their five children live on a coffee farm in Matagalpa, Nicaragua situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 1,250 meters (4,100 feet). The farm has a little over three acres of lush coffee plants grown under ideal conditions. Pedro belongs to the cooperative La Fe de las Nubes (Faith of the...

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8 Personal Transformation and Curricula Change

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pp. 159-177

Kolvenbach (2004, 59) describes the service of faith and the promotion of justice in American Jesuit Higher Education stating: ‘‘The real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in whom our students become.’’ He feels strongly that it is only through contact with the poor and marginalized that ‘‘whole persons’’ of tomorrow can truly be...

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9 Doing Well by Doing Good

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pp. 178-194

Before delving into the use of reflective practices—such as the Spiritual Exercises developed by Ignatius of Loyola—by law schools and their students, it is helpful to examine the goal of their use. Simply put, the goal is justice. Seeking justice is a good fit for law schools and law students. Perhaps no other field of academic endeavor is as closely...

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10 Promoting Social Justice

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pp. 195-214

The mission statement and strategic plan of our university contain strongly worded declarations that valuing human differences and increasing diversity are part and parcel of our Jesuit mission. Our declarations about diversity are an affirmation of our faith-inspired commitment to an inclusive community where human differences thrive in a...

Part III: Our Way of Proceeding

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pp. 217-223

The five articles in this section share a common concern: the Jesuit university’s responsibility to educate for justice. They propose opportunities, underscore challenges and hint at the risks involved in educating for a faith that does justice. The authors assume the ‘‘higher standard’’ that Dean Brackley, SJ, first proposed for Jesuit colleges and...

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11 Opening Remarks to the Jesuit Justice Conference, June 18, 2009

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pp. 224-238

Twenty-five years ago, the Society of Jesus committed itself to the promotion of the justice that is an imperative of Christian Faith. Faith and justice were to inform its entire apostolic works. In response to this call, leaders of the Jesuit universities in the United States planned and implemented three regional conferences in 1999 and convened...

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12 Transforming Ourselves in Orderto Transform the World

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pp. 239-256

The focus on justice in Jesuit higher education frequently inspires faculty and staff at Jesuit colleges and universities to want to contribute their expertise in the wider community. Their enthusiasm presents an opportunity for engagement, but several challenges exist. Frequently, because of their busy schedules faculty and staff rush into...

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13 Nonviolently Transforming the Road to Jericho

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pp. 257-275

In September 1965, Saint Peter’s University1 awarded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws and Letters. Saint Peter’s is the only Jesuit university or college to have awarded him such a degree. In my eighteen years of teaching at the university, I have been inspired and challenged by King’s teachings, writings, and...

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14 The Ethic of Environmental Concern and the Jesuit Mission

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pp. 276-295

We live in a time in history when the global crisis of climate change cannot be ignored. The rising of the oceans, the drying of lands, and the reduction in the biodiversity in our ecological system are realities that face our current generation and that must be at the forefront of the policy plans for future generations to come. Many of the problems...

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15 Companions, Prophets, Martyrs

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pp. 296-313

The ideal of shaping students for solidarity in a world in need thankfully motivates many within the systems of Jesuit education. Yet while the twenty-eight colleges and universities in our network have centers for service and justice as well as programs of service learning, authentic development of students in a well-educated solidarity...

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Conclusion: Further and Deeper

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pp. 314-320

In his landmark speech on the Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education at Santa Clara in 2000 cited so often in this book, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach expressed his belief that from 1975 to 2000, Jesuit higher education had ‘‘made considerable and laudable Jesuit efforts to go deeper and further’’ in the commitment to the faith that...


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pp. 321-340


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pp. 341-358


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pp. 359-364


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pp. 365-370

About the Cover

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pp. 371-372

E-ISBN-13: 9780823254330
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823254309
Print-ISBN-10: 0823254305

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: Cloth