Learning from the Past
Indeed, in a theology/religious studies department at a Catholic college engaged in a program of diversity and inclusion, it can now seem “politically” easier to teach Buddhism or Hinduism than Patristics or the Council of Trent. A right-wing, political-religious narrative often explains its opposition to diversity in terms of preserving (white) European culture while also complaining that proponents of diversity are deaf to its arguments and reasoning.
So at Catholic institutions, the study of theology and religion as it relates to the study of history is in a spot. And it was nearly thirty years ago when David Tracy wrote that we all must face the “fascinans et tremendum actuality of our polycentric present.
The loss of history is not just a problem in understanding the past of religion; it also weakens the process of symbolic thinking and moral imagination. The de-emphasizing of history in Catholic theology and in Catholic institutions is not simply the result of the collapse of the humanities.
Read full article at Commonweal