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ERIC Number: EJ1140328
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2369-8659
Cultivating Identities: The Catholic School as Diverse Ecclesial Space
McDonough, Graham P.
Philosophical Inquiry in Education, v23 n2 p160-177 2016
I argue that the crisis of identity Catholic schools are experiencing in the 21st century presents an opportunity for a rediscovery and expanded conversation, both within and beyond the confines of the institutional Church, of what it means to exist separately from the mainstream without restricting internal diversity. I begin by presenting salient historical, theological, and sociological features of Catholicism and Catholic education during and since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) to establish the context and substance of its modern identity crisis. I then provide a review of current controversies within Catholic schools to demonstrate how they are symptomatic of this crisis, but are also potential catalysts for exploring new options. The next section argues for both recognizing multiple Catholic identities and imagining the Catholic school as an institution that assembles and coordinates them. I propose that the fact of multiple Catholic identities should be interpreted as differences in kind, rather than by their degree of difference from a narrowly constructed idea of Catholicism. I also propose that the intersection of these identities at school should be encouraged as a way of nurturing both students' own identities and their ability to encounter religious difference within their own tradition and community. The conclusion demonstrates how in practice this model presents a promising means of possibly deepening individual and institutional religious identit(y/ies) in today's world, and of responding to controversial issues that arise within Catholic schools.
Canadian Philosophy of Education Society. S-FG 6310 Faubourg Ste-Catherine Building, 1610 St. Catherine West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4B 1R6. Tel: 514-758-7813; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A