Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, discussed the commitment to justice in Jesuit higher education, at Santa Clara University on October 6, 2000. In this paper, Rev. Kolvenbach reflects with readers on what faith and justice has meant for Jesuits since 1975 and then considers some concrete circumstances of today, to suggest what justice rooted in faith could mean in American Jesuit higher education and concludes with an agenda for the first decade of the years 2000.
The following is an excerpt:
“All American universities, ours included, are under tremendous pressure to opt entirely for success in this sense. But what our students want – and deserve – includes but transcends this ‘worldly success’ based on marketable skills. The real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become.
“For 450 years, Jesuit education has sought to educate ‘the whole person’ intellectually and professionally, psychologically, morally and spiritually. But in the emerging global reality, with its great possibilities and deep contradictions, the whole person is different from the whole person of the Counter-Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, or the 20th Century. Tomorrow’s “whole person” cannot be whole without an educated awareness of society and culture with which to contribute socially, generously, in the real world.
“Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively. They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed.”
Download the full paper here.
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