Theology and Catholic Higher Education: Beyond Our Identity Crisis


Pages: 184

Binding: Softcover

Theology and Catholic Higher Education: Beyond Our Identity Crisis

By: Massimo Faggioli
  • $30.00


“Our problem in Catholic higher education is bigger than the collapse of ecclesial credibility, bigger than the behavior of the bishops, bigger than the waning interest in theological studies, and bigger than politics.”—Massimo Faggioli


Many Catholic universities in the United States have put their Catholic mission at risk—by either ceding to secular neoliberal values or by doubling down on reactionary Catholic tribalism. Student enrollment declines as some schools market themselves no differently than secular colleges. Other, conversely, neo-traditionalist Catholic colleges ally themselves with regressive elements of the Church. Both trends, Faggioli says, reflect a dismantling of Vatican II’s vision for Catholic education.


Scrutinizing this crisis in detail, Massimo Faggioli reviews the snowballing changes in Catholic higher education, advocating for a renewed incarnational and sacramental Catholic educational philosophy that rejects accommodation to secular technocracy as well as Catholic tribalism in order to embody the inclusive, socially conscious values of the Catholic tradition as expressed in the theology of Vatican II.


Massimo Faggioli is professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University and a contributing writer to Commonweal magazine and La Croix International. He was co-founder of the unit “Vatican II Studies” at the American Academy of Religion and is on the board of editors of the journal Concilium. His recent publications include The Oxford Handbook of Vatican II (co-edited with Catherine Clifford, 2023) and, for Orbis Books, The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis. Moving Toward Global Catholicity (2020).


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