Volume I: Reflections on
Ex Corde Ecclesiae at 30

01

Welcome to Nexus

by Michael P. Murphy

Nexus: Conversations on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition is a digital-age journal that amplifies and publishes scholarly dialogue taking place in the Hank Center—whether in symposia and conference proceedings or in the research of its several faculty working groups...

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02

Volume Introduction

by Naomi Fisher and Andrew Krema

Just over thirty years ago, Pope John Paul II issued Ex Corde Ecclesiae, an Apostolic Constitution for Catholic universities. It made waves in the Catholic world, with some seeing it as an infringement upon the autonomy of the Catholic university... 

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03

Is Moral Cultivation a Proper Aim of a Catholic University?

by Richard Kim

Should Catholic universities aim at the moral improvement of their students? According to John Henry Newman, the answer is, no. The proper aim of a university education is to help students cultivate their intellect and to pursue knowledge for its own sake...

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04

Against Isocrates

by Jeffrey J. Fisher

When St. John Paul II claimed in Ex Corde Ecclesiae that Catholic colleges and universities should be devoted “without reserve to the cause of truth,” one might assume he was merely expressing an obvious platitude...

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05

Ex Corde Ecclesiae and Interreligious Dialogue in Catholic Universities

by Xueying Wang

St. John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae is not a common source to draw on for how to conduct interreligious dialogue in Catholic universities. Indeed, with regard to interreligious interactions among faculty and student bodies of different religious backgrounds, its comments are brief...

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06

Diversity, Reason, and Catholic Faith

by James G. Murphy, SJ

Catholic faith is reasonable, and Catholic faith always involves reason, in the broad sense outlined in St. John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical letter Fides et Ratio. It is through that faith-grounded reason that the Catholic Church must respond to the challenge of diversity today...

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07

Jesus as Philosopher:
A Hermeneutical Approach to His Teachings

by Avery Merriel Smith, PhD

In this essay I lay out an argument for including the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the canon of philosophical study and propose hermeneutics as a means of doing so...

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08

Pursuing Truth in the Catholic University

by Marcella Linn

Recently in one of my freshman philosophy sections, a student calmly noted that while she accepted the logic of St. Thomas Aquinas’ proofs for the existence of God, she ultimately rejected the conclusion that God exists because she believes in the Big Bang Theory...

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09

We Must Give Our Students Hope

by Naomi Fisher

Let me begin this essay on hope and truth by offering two anecdotes. The first involves a second-year student in my introductory-level philosophy course. The assignment was a reading reflection on Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?”, answering the question of how best to seek after the truth...

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10

Science, Religion, and the Disaffiliation Crisis

by Joe Vukov

A student approached me after a discussion focused on the possibility of miracles: “Honestly, how do you believe this stuff?” How could I, as a philosopher (one who even regularly reads in the sciences!), still buy the Catholic Church’s line about the reality of miracles?...

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