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Title: Freedom without truth, faith without reason, knowledge without wisdom: Challenges to a Catholic philosophy of education in a changing world
Contributor(s): Mackey, Edmund Ambrose (author); Fearnley Sander, Mary (supervisor); Hobson, Peter (supervisor); Forrest, Peter (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2008
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The initial pencil line drawn on the blank sheet of this study, so to speak, was the Latin tag: 'In necessariis unitas; in dubiis libertas... : Unity in what is essential; liberty in matters of doubt...' The rest of the design proceeds from this first determining stroke - including the governing question: What are the unifying essentials (and hence non-essentials) of a modern Catholic philosophy of education? Catholic; philosophy; education: all are emotive concepts (the last, especially so) and therefore prone to eliciting mismatched interpretations. By scrutinizing these three elements singly and conjointly, this study questions the adequacy of meeting inherent demands and problems with little more than partial or exclusive means (as the title suggests). The adoption of a more universal approach is shown to be necessary for such endeavours to attain a fuller realization of their purported raison d'etre. Within this background and context, the first chapter also examines key concepts of this topic in terms of how the Church itself defines them. Contrasted, is the tension between calls from the Church to adhere to certain basics as against the lack of a sense of shared purpose prevalent in Church institutions. The highly topical Rosmini case is used by detractors to discredit the continuity of Catholic Church policy. As the focus of the second chapter, the recent Rosmini development introduces this controversial thinker while also conveniently leading in to the concept of organic change in the Church. The disputed relevance for Catholic education of Aquinas and his key principles is investigated next, with reference to past and present Church teachings. Chapter four traces the lasting effects of the John Dewey legacy, with the new theme that Dewey's thought has made tangible inroads into sectors of Catholic education. The nature of the home education movement - particularly in its Catholic manifestation - is tied in with elements of the foregoing in chapter five. The conclusion discusses the extent to which reconciliation is possible between the various strands mentioned above, and the resultant educational implications. Throughout, the intervention of Rosmini' s thought and an Australian emphasis (where applicable) lend to the originality of this study.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 2008 - Edmund Ambrose Mackey
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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