Becoming Whole: Personal Journeys of Faith in Academic Life

For the past several years Catholic theologian John C. Haughey, SJ, has worked with a team of Catholic scholars from around the United States, conducting workshops with faculty at a dozen Catholic colleges and universities to learn firsthand about their research and teaching aspirations. His groundbreaking study Where is Knowing Going? The Horizons of the Knowing Subject carefully examined what constitutes the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions of higher learning.

But Haughey’s work did not stop there. He continued to ask individual faculty and administrators to reflect upon a challenge that everyone faces: that of becoming a whole person in both their personal and professional lives.

In his new book, In Search of the Whole: Twelve Essays on Faith and Academic Life, Haughey has gathered twelve professionals in higher education from a variety of disciplines—philosophy, theology, health care, business, and administration. What they have in common reflects the creative understanding of the meaning of “catholic” as Haughey has found it to operate in Catholic higher education.

Each contributor to this inspiring anthology offers an autobiographical narrative on his or her intellectual and spiritual conversion and growth inside and outside the classroom. All twelve are “anticipating an entirety” with each contributing a coherence that is as surprising as it is delightful.

This collection of thoughtful and pastoral essays is an invaluable resource for Catholic colleges and universities as they attempt to promote dialogue among their faculties on the relationship between the Catholic intellectual tradition and the work of often largely secular scholars and students. Paul Lakeland of Fairfield University agrees, “In Search of the Whole provides hope for the future and food for thought in equal measure. It will be of great help to those faculty and administrators who are comfortable with or questioning the Catholic tradition, but who see the future in terms of dialogue, not silos.”

John C. Haughey, SJ, is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. He is the author of Where Is Knowing Going? The Horizons of the Knowing Subject, which was named the 2010 Best Book in Education by the Catholic Press Association.

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