Liberal education and Catholic theology

Duffy, Hugh

Education; Philosophy; Religion
October 1989

Thesis or dissertation

© 1989 Hugh Duffy. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The purpose of this thesis is to analyse and explain the intimate connection that exists between liberal education and Catholic theology. This is done by analysing the changing patterns of interconnections in the historical and on-going relationship between both.

The thesis comprises nine chapters. The first two chapters outline the general principles governing the study. The next two chapters deal with the history of the relationship between liberal education and Catholic theology, beginning with the early apologists via Augustine and culminating in Aquinas' scholastic synthesis. This part of the study describes the synthesis which took place from early Christianity until the fifteenth century.

The second part of the thesis deals with the separation of liberal education and Catholic theology, which began during the Reformation, and is discussed in Chapters Five and Six. The consequences of this separation which led to the establishment of a secular system of liberal education, divorced from theology, during the Enlightenment, is analysed in Chapter Seven.

The final two chapters of the thesis (Chapters Eight and Nine) deal with the 'Catholic Reaction' to the reformed rational system of liberal education, and the 'Rediscovery' of the comprehensive tradition of liberal education, brought about by the historic revival of Catholic scholarship, initiated by Pope Leo XIII.

Department of Education, The University of Hull
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