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Commonweal Magazine


Catholic studies programs seem to be springing up like mushrooms all over the country'. Typically, these programs involve the awarding of a certificate or a minor, and in some cases bachelor's and master's degrees. They range from well-funded and highly developed enterprises such as the program at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to modest interdisciplinary programs such as the one at Santa Clara University in California. Not only Catholic universities, but some secular ones as well, are in the process of establishing some kind of Catholic studies program or chair. Some of these programs signal a healthy reinvigoration of Catholicism and interest in the Catholic faith tradition at a time when many people inside and outside the church question some of the directions taken by the Catholic church in the past few years. In many places, these programs are attracting students who are eager to learn more about their faith and to delve into it more deeply, even in places where there already seem to be many excellent existing resources for the study of Catholicism. The existence of these programs is already generating a cottage industry involving conferences, publications, research grants, and academic working groups at national academic meetings of theologians and religious scholars.


Copyright © 2001 Commonweal Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

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