Challenges and opportunities surrounding Catholic education

John J. Haldane*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Catholic education faces a number of serious challenges including cultural and political disrespect for, and hostility towards religion in general and Catholicism in particular, and lack of knowledge of, and commitment to, Catholic beliefs and values among Catholic educational administrators, school managers, teachers, and other staff, as well as the diminishing percentage of even nominally Catholic staff. I set these matters within the context of broader challenges surrounding Catholic education, deriving from three cultural movements: the reformation, the emergence of liberalism, and the scientific revolution, which undermined the synthesis of scripture, theology, and speculative and practical philosophy achieved in the high middle-ages. I propose in response a creative critique showing that what is of authentic value in modernity can be accommodated within the traditional synthesis. I also connect that tradition with strands of eastern philosophy suggesting that the movement of people, ideas, and traditions from Eastern cultures into historically Western societies provides an opportunity for further synthesis of a wisdom-based approach to education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalNew Blackfriars
Early online date26 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2024


  • Art
  • Boethius
  • Chesterton
  • Confucius
  • Philosophy


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