The Importance Of The Catholic Intellectual Tradition

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To begin, the Catholic Intellectual Tradition is known as a 2000 year conversation between the church and the world. When the age of the Enlightenment captivated Europe and other parts of the world, intellectuals and philosophers focused their attention to only reason and away from faith. In fact, many Enlightenment philosophers argued faith and reason could never be compatible. On the other, from the perspective of a Catholic Intellectual, many would oppose this way of thinking and argues a Catholic can most certainly promote both faith and reason. The Catholic Intellectual Tradition claims the church can endorse both faith and reason, but this must happen through dialogue with the outside world. Literally and figuratively, closing the doors…show more content…
Even though the tradition is longer than the university, the Catholic college serves as a platform to maintain, communicate, and advance it. In Mary Ellen O’Donnell’s essay, she quotes Father Leo Ward from the University of Notre Dame, who claims, “Just as we reject the principle of divorcing faith and works, so we reject the principle and the practice of divorcing the life of faith and the life of study,” (O’Donnell 43). Meaning, Catholic universities aren’t disconnecting faith from their education. Specifically, these institutions have played a crucial role in the cultivation of the intellectual heritage. Today, most things are done through reason alone. The Catholic university’s role is to maintain the relationship between faith and reason. Even though, as what O’Donnell describes, The Catholic Intellectual can be seen as an oxymoron, the Catholic university is committed to keeping the tradition a part of their overall mission. More importantly, these institutions try and reinforce faith and reason to solve complex problems of the world, and by doing so, they are furthering the advancement of the living tradition. O’Donnell adds, “With the criteria of the Catholic intellectual tradition at the heart of their mission and identity, then Catholic universities and colleges bear much of the burden of keeping the tradition alive and encouraging its growth and development,” (O’Donnell 61-62). Because the need for both faith and reason in the world is so imperative, without Catholic colleges, the tradition’s chance to continue to be living would significantly

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