ERIC Number: EJ955631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Neoplatonism in Catholicism and Catholic Higher Education
Rehm, David D.
Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education, v26 n1 p121-131 Win 2007
I begin this paper with a caveat. I am not a Catholic, having been baptized in the Eastern Orthodox Church and confirmed in the Episcopal Church. I came to Catholic education in 1995 when I was hired by Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where I began teaching in the Department of Philosophy. I have learned much about the Catholic tradition in recent years, and I intend for my journey of faith and reason to continue to grow through exposure to this great tradition. In what follows, I approach the question of what is distinctive about Catholic higher education by using Neoplatonism as a hermeneutic. In other words, Neoplatonism in this paper becomes a lens through which to look at Catholic thought and higher education today. When I say "Neoplatonism," I am referring specifically to what brand of Neoplatonism set forth by Plotinus, the third century philosopher born in Egypt (outside Alexandria), who lived in Rome for much of his adult life and wrote in Greek. For much of my academic career, I have struggled to make sense of the relevance of Plotinus' Neoplatonism for the contemporary world and for my own life. I am coming to the view, however, that Plotinus and Neoplatonism may be much more relevant to contemporary life--and especially contemporary higher education--than I ever imagined. I intend that my discussion in this paper will make clear that relevance and provide an opportunity to shed some light on Catholic higher education.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Catholics, Foreign Countries, Church Related Colleges, Religious Education, College Faculty, Beliefs, Religious Factors, Spiritual Development, Hermeneutics, Philosophy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A