Wednesday, March 30, 2022
The Catholic University of America has named (my former Notre Dame colleague) Peter Kilpatrick as its next president. (Kilpatrick will succeed my other former Notre Dame colleague, John Garvey.) Here, thanks to The Pillar, is an interesting interview with Kilpatrick about (among other things) the nature and importance of a distinctively Catholic university and the challenges that exist to the building and thriving of such an institution. Here's a bit:
For me, a Catholic university is a unique place of higher learning, where we embrace the fusion — the integration — of faith and reason, where we celebrate that there is only one truth about the world and about the human person in the world, and that’s that it all flows from God.
And it's only possible to do that at a university like a Catholic university or another religious university really authentic to its faith principle.
I think the other important thing about a Catholic university is that you integrate the disciplines because knowledge is not bite-sized pieces. Disciplines, which came about in the late 19th century at the German universities, are not intended to be in isolation. They are intended to be in context of the global society and the society in the culture that you're in.
And unfortunately, so much of what’s done at many other universities is to silo the disciplines. And that's not what a Catholic university is about. We're about integrating the disciplines and putting it all in context. So my understanding of Catholic universities is that they have this unique role to play integrating faith and reason and integrating the disciplines.