In Search of the Whole
Twelve Essays on Faith and Academic Life
Publication Year: 2011
Each essay in the first six chapters describes how its author has assembled a unique whole from within his or her particular area of academic competence. The last six chapters are more autobiographical, with each author describing what has become central to his or her identities. All twelve are “anticipating an entirety” with each contributing a coherence that is as surprising as it is delightful.
Published by: Georgetown University Press
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Like clouds, no two of us human beings are exactly alike. This volume bears eloquent witness to this. As one reads the different chapters in this volume, one will marvel at the distinctiveness of each consciousness, at how subjectivities are even more sui generis than our unique sizes and shapes and other physical characteristics. Although not everyone is gifted at plumbing ...
Part One. Whole as Task
Chapter 1. Wholeness through Science, Justice, and Love
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For as long as I can remember, I have loved science. Even before I knew that science was the category, I loved learning about the universe and just about everything within it. I think I was probably born with this love, but I was also fortunate to come of age in the late 1950s and 1960s, when science permeated the cultural atmosphere around me. The United States was then ...
Chapter 2. From Discovery to Risk
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When I was an associate dean in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America, I regularly received calls from prospective students asking, “If I come to study at CUA, can I be assured that I will be getting the true teachings of the magisterium?” What always struck me about this question was the latent concern for certainty in ...
Chapter 3. Professional Education as Transformation
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I have been for the last thirteen years the dean of the College of Professional Studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The college is one of eleven colleges and schools at Marquette and is committed to educating working professionals—adult, nontraditional students—throughout southeastern Wisconsin. ...
Chapter 4. Learning to Love the Law of the Sea
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For many if not most doctoral students, the choice of a dissertation topic is a matter not only of importance but, until the choice becomes clear, also of obscurity. At least it was for me. Late in my first year of doctoral studies in the mid-1980s, I had yet to settle on a general topic that would shape my remaining coursework and outside research. Having spent four years in Zam-...
Chapter 5. Catholicity and Faculty Seminars
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When I was a young student in the 1950s I came across a book titled The Wisdom of Catholicism.1 I liked it very much and bought a copy as a present for my parents. It was edited by Anton Pegis of the Medieval Institute in Toronto and contained selections from the Catholic classics: Augustine’s Confessions and City of God, Thomas Aquinas’s Summae, Dante’s Divine Comedy, ...
Chapter 6. The “Real World” of Business
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When I completed my doctorate in systematic theology at Boston College in 1991, I fully intended to spend the next few decades of my life teaching courses in that field in a university setting. As it turned out, the years I spent in graduate school prepared me for a somewhat different future. At its root systematic theology is the effort to produce a fully integrated ...
Part Two. Whole as Identity
Chapter 7. Attaining Harmony as a Hindu-Christian
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Iam an Indian Christian and a Jesuit. I was born and grew up as an Indian. My priestly formation has been in traditional scholastic philosophy and in a theology in transformation after the Second Vatican Council. I have been a student also of Hindu philosophy, theology, and spirituality. I have lived through the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. I have been involved in ...
Chapter 8. Arriving at a Christocentric Universe
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From where does a theological vision begin? What gives rise to theological insight and, in particular, to my insight? I ask these questions not only as a matter of self-reflection but out of wondrous surprise that I am a theologian because, truth be told, I never intended to be one. Unlike the typical theology student finely tuned in philosophy, theology, and classical languages, I was a ...
Chapter 9. Le Petit Philosophe
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My family tells me—usually with good-humored teasing—that when I was baptized, my godfather, a lawyer and a philosopher of sorts, looked bemusedly at me in the cradle and said, “Le petit philosophe!” Given who the philosophes were, it could have been an ironic lawyerly comment on the promises just made on my behalf; but in deference to the prophetic ...
Chapter 10. Toward a Catholic Christianity: A Personal Narrative
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Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII when I was sixteen. After eight years of parochial school and three years in a Jesuit high school, I thought I knew what it meant to be Catholic. And in one sense I did. I knew the liturgy of the Mass, the biblical stories, the seven sacraments, the Apostles’ Creed, a partial history of the Church, the importance of love and forgiveness. This ...
Chapter 11. The Hunting and the Haunting
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I have written well over a hundred poems that are to one degree or another after works of art—usually paintings. When I was asked recently about the attraction of such a topic, it occurred to me that the attraction lies in part in the fact that those works are finished things: whether or not they sport actual frames, they are all in some sense framed. Another way of saying this is that ...
Chapter 12. Attaining Harmony with the Earth
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I teach at St. Jerome’s University, a small Catholic liberal arts university in southwestern Ontario. When I returned to work after an eight-month parental leave following the adoption of our two daughters from Ecuador, I indicated to close friends that on the day that I first met Sofia and Daniela, I felt as if I had been dropped off a very, very high cliff—from the life of work ...
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These twelve essays have several things in common. For one, they are eminently original. The authors have plumbed their inimitable subjectivities in ways that make them accessible to the reader. This volume is a case of the multiplication of the loaves or, to mix metaphors, an instance of what can be produced when a haunting is moved by a hunting that can locate its ...
List of Contributors
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2011