Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Carey, Patrick W.

Second Advisor

Avella, Steven M.


This dissertation is a comparative historical-theological analysis of theological education in American Catholic colleges and universities during the years 1939-1973. I argue that educators did not bridge the chasm between the two major concepts of theology (i.e., theology as love of God vs. theology as intellectual appropriation of the faith), and suggest that current discussions of the content and purpose of theology courses are actually rooted in uresolved issues from the past. My analysis begins with the published papers from the Man and Modem Secularism Conference held in 1939, because that conference marked the opening of a public debate over the aims and methods of theological education (the Augustinian-Bonaventurian emphasis on the search for God and the Thomistic stress on intellectual appropriation and explication of the faith). The study concludes with the 1973 consolidation of various theological and religious schools and departments at The Catholic University of America because that decision to consolidate ( combining the School of Theology, School of Canon Law, Department of Religion and Religious Education, Department of Biblical Studies, and Department of Church History into a School of Religious Studies) appeared to signal a resolution, however tenuous, of the contending aims of theological educators that had come to the fore in 1939. The consolidation, however, demonstrated that theological education was becoming much more specialized and compartmentalized than in the immediate past...



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