Curriculum Reform for Catholic Colleges
The University of Saint Thomas
Some of the oldest cultural values such as “be fruitful and multiply” are no longer useful and are now destructive. Another habit to throw overboard is war. General Douglas MacArthur in his famous 1951 speech in the US Congress stated in no uncertain terms that mankind must abolish war or war would abolish mankind. Pope Paul VI made called for an end to war at the United Nations in 1965.
Professor will still talk about Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Voltaire, and leading philosophers that shape the way we think. In the future, they must study people, not necessarily considered philosophers, to derive values and strategies that point the way to spiritual and environmental restoration. One candidate for inclusion in the new curriculum is Plan 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute. Among many far-reaching ideas, he advocates investing $190 billion per year in poor countries to bring about universal primary education, adult literacy, universal basic health care, planting trees to reduce flooding, protecting topsoil, restoring fisheries, protecting biological diversity and stabilizing water tables. Hopefully all educational institutions will pursue this survival path that leads to a world filled with social justice.
Catholic institutions have other
changes to make. I will give my
background to set the context of the next recommendation. I was born and grew up in
In the 1960s, the name of what I
was trying to develop was aesthetic theology.
Nowadays, people call it spirituality.
The closest I have seen in Catholic education was a mysticism class
offered by assistant professor Edward Sri at
When I visit
Some of the answer is a drive to mysticism. Some of the answer is a connection with nature achieved by protecting nature everywhere. One goal is to arrange the economy to have people work fewer hours per week at decent pay. Something is achieved by clean water, clean air and uncontaminated soil.
UST must consider reform for the
entire church. The Catholic Church must
abandon discrimination against women. The idea that there are seven sacraments
for men and six for women no longer passes muster. There are several arguments for a male only
clergy. One is that we have always done
it that way. Other old institutions and
customs have dropped by the wayside – monarchy, human sacrifice, slavery,
colonial empires, judicial torture and the
Others point out that the apostles were all male. Carried out to a logical conclusion of this argument, the church would only ordain converted Palestinian Jews.
Also, ordain married people. The church did all right in the first millennium with a married clergy. The church will do well to repeat this practice in the third millennium to avoid putting priests on the endangered species list.