Catholic Universities: Political Power, Cultural Paradigms, and Identity from Early Modernity to the ‘Long 1960s’. An Historical Overview

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Abstract

This paper delves into the historical trajectory of Catholic universities, spanning from the early modern era to the 'long 1960s', focusing on the development and change of their religious identities and mission amidst challenges posed by state intervention, secularization, and shifts within the Church and society. The analysis explores the reforms introduced in university governance by internal or external agents and the transformation of academic cultures influenced by intellectual or scientific trends, political intervention, ideological activism, and religious currents within Catholicism. Concurrently, it evaluates how these processes affected the capacity of Catholic universities to shape society and maintain a relevant presence in culture, offering responses rooted in Christian faith and heritage.
To achieve this, four distinct periods are characterized: the expansion of early modern Catholic universities under the Post-Tridentine paradigm; the decline of Catholic higher education amidst enlightened reforms, the French Revolution, and the development of national university systems in the early 19th century; the Ultramontane and neo-Thomist revival, leading to the development of a new model of Catholic universities (1840s-1950s); and the impact of the 'long 1960s' on the identity and ethos of Catholic universities.
Translated title of the contributionUniversidades católicas: Poder político, paradigmas culturales e identidad desde la modernidad temprana hasta los "largos años sesenta". Un panorama histórico
Original languageEnglish
JournalChurch, Communication and Culture
Volume9
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

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