Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Boston College Launches Initiative to Examine Catholic Mission

Boston College is launching a new initiative to examine the mission of American Catholic higher education. University Mission and Ministry is gathering scholars together four times over the next two years for the Boston College Roundtable: Advancing the Mission of Catholic Higher Education.

The plan is to examine mission through the lens of specific academic disciplines. Three of four scholars will present papers at each roundtable, with the proceedings to be published in a journal. Topics will include: science and the person, and the transcendent value of the liberal arts.

“Our hope is to advance the conversation about mission, identity, and the Catholic intellectual tradition through the eyes of scholars across academic fields so we can examine what difference a faith-based education makes in the contemporary context,” said Lisa Hastings, interim director of Mission and Ministry’s Office of Faculty Outreach and Program Assessment, to the Boston College Chronicle.

The first roundtable, examining the topic “The Role of Charism and Hospitality in Catholic Colleges and Universities,” took place April 12-14.

The scholars presenting papers included: Boston College Professor of English Paul Mariani (“Charism and the Literary Imagination”); Providence College Theology Department Chairwoman Aurelie A. Hagstrom (“The Role of Charism and Hospitality in the Academy”), and Georgetown University Theology Professor and Georgetown College Dean Chester Gillis (“Welcoming the Religiously Other to a Catholic University”). Boston College of Arts and Sciences Dean and History Professor David Quigley, Theology Professor Rev. Michael Himes, and Professor of Biology Marc Muskavitch also participated.

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