An Alternative to the Sectarian Vision: The Role of the Dean in an Inclusive Catholic Law School
20 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2002
Catholic law schools, spurred by the controversies on their university campuses over the papal call to reaffirm Catholic identity and mission, are beginning to ask more seriously what it means for them to be "Catholic." Different models of Catholic legal education are emerging, and the deans of Catholic law schools are faced with the task of deciding how they should guide their institutions in selecting and giving effect to the model most suitable for them. Some Catholic law schools are content with being nominally Catholic and functionally secular. Others may take a sectarian path, defining themselves as "faith communities," with a very strong and inherently exclusive definition of their identity and role in the world. This article proposes an alternative to both extremes: an "inclusive" Catholic law school that is committed to academic freedom, religious and ideological diversity and liberal values, but is also unapologetically and actively committed to discerning and expressing distinctively Catholic approaches to law and lawyering.
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