By Graham P. McDonough
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Additional info for Beyond Obedience and Abandonment: Toward a Theory of Dissent in Catholic Education
Indb 31 13/09/12 12:32 PM 32 Beyond Obedience and Abandonment within Catholicism on abortion and its relationship to sociological trends among lay Catholics that make this a controversial issue, and (3) the question of the role of Canon Law in Church life. In response to (1), it can be said that while this theory recognizes that Catholic schools are dependent upon the Magisterial Church for their nominal designation15 and are theorized to exist in partnership with the Church and the Home to provide for the complete educational experience of Catholic persons,16 once one looks past the naming of that triad their educative roles within this relationship are much more ambiguously defined.
This book proposes a new way for Catholic Education to approach the religious tensions which inhere in the socio-foundational structure of its institutions. Given the complex institutional nature of Catholic Education, the observations, proposals, and arguments throughout this book are presented in a spirit that is generous to each partner and to what arguably should be reasonable for each to accept. In an age where the Catholic Church may feel threatened by what it perceives as “antiCatholic” elements or “religious relativism”7 in the world, it is perhaps most prudent to acknowledge now that this theory is proposed to support and encourage Catholic Education, even though it will do so in a way that emphasizes the pedagogical importance of intellectually developing religious differences more than the current pedagogy emphasizes doctrinal unity as the basis for institutional cohesion.
Most certainly this theory is not intended to be wielded as a rhetorical weapon which would undermine Catholic Education; still, this generosity is also not blinkered by unquestioning deference to the Magisterium or a disposition to overlook the flaws in Catholic Education for fear its opponents might capitalize upon them for its destruction. Those whose biases preclude agreement with the methods, proposals, and conclusions in this volume – and there will be many such disagreements – are asked to read it with an eye to its value as an exploration of territory that contributes to the further development of Catholic Education.