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Contending With Modernity Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century

by Philip Gleason

  • ISBN: 9780195098280
  • ISBN10: 0195098285

Contending With Modernity Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century

by Philip Gleason

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 12/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780195098280
  • ISBN10: 0195098285
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Description: Written by the leading interpreter of American Catholicism, Contending with Modernity is the first history of American Catholic higher education to examine both intellectual and institutional dimensions of the subject. Taking a narrative approach, Philip Gleason begins his account with an overview of old-style Catholic colleges in the 1800s and the internal conflicts that influenced the founding of The Catholic University of America, the first modern Catholic university. From there, Gleason depicts Catholic educators around 1900 as they began to accept modernization in the organizational sphere but rejected it in the realm of ideas and beliefs. Convinced of the truth of their religious and intellectual position, the restructured Catholic colleges grew rapidly after World War I and moved into the postwar era with enhanced self-confidence. Gleason examines trends such as "Catholic Action" and argues that the economic collapse at home during the 1930s and rise of totalitarianism in Europe furthered the critique of secularism and led to a firm Catholic commitment to educate for a "Catholic Renaissance". In the 1960s, changes in church teaching as a result of the Vatican II Council and cultural upheavals in American society reinforced the internal transformation already under way. The resulting "identity crisis", according to Gleason, demonstrates how Catholic educators have come full circle since 1900, as they once again face the task of envisioning Catholic colleges and universities as a distinctive element of higher education.
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