Title: What Does 'Catholic' Mean? Identity, Experience, and Dialogue in a Catholic University
Authors: Friday III, John # ×
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: K.U.Leuven, Faculty of Theology
Series Title: Louvain Studies
Abstract: The main concern of this article is to shed some light on the meaning and possible implications of the Catholic University of Leuven’s recent reaffirmation of its traditional Catholic identity. To accomplish this goal the notion of experience is proposed as a category that, according to the philosophical stance of realism, can be used to foster identity formation. While realism is often strictly associated with thinkers who might be classified as neo-Thomists (e.g., Bernard Lonergan), the article demonstrates that this perspective has recently been endorsed by a variety of thinkers, from different disciplines, who have appealed to realism as a means of ‘reclaiming identity.’ With respect to the particular concern of Catholic identity, two types of experience that are proposed as indispensable are (i) the experience of the sacramental and communal life of the Church, and (ii) the experience of dialogue with the so-called religious ‘other.’ Both of these experiences present challenges as well as opportunities to those who would take seriously their role as people who are involved with the Catholic tradition, especially in a the context of a university in a religiously diverse world. The article gives special attention to the necessity of contemporary Catholics to maintain a tensile unity between sameness and difference, both in terms of their self-understanding as well as their understanding of, and actual encounter with the ‘other.’
ISSN: 0024-6964
Publication status: accepted
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Unit Systematic Theology - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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