With its attention to educational and cultural history, Mahoney's work makes a needed contribution to American Catholic Studies.
Catholic Higher Education in Protestant America: The Jesuits and Harvard in the Age of the Universityby Kathleen A. Mahoney
In 1893 Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot, the father of the modern university, helped implement a policy that, in effect, barred graduates of Jesuit colleges from regular admission to Harvard Law School. The resulting controversy—bitterly contentious and widely publicized—was a defining moment in the history of American Catholic education,… See more details below
In 1893 Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot, the father of the modern university, helped implement a policy that, in effect, barred graduates of Jesuit colleges from regular admission to Harvard Law School. The resulting controversy—bitterly contentious and widely publicized—was a defining moment in the history of American Catholic education, illuminating on whose terms and on what basis Catholics and Catholic colleges would participate in higher education in the twentieth century.
In Catholic Higher Education in Protestant America, Kathleen Mahoney considers the challenges faced by Catholics as the age of the university opened. She describes how liberal Protestant educators such as Eliot linked the modern university with the cause of a Protestant America and how Catholic students and educators variously resisted, accommodated, or embraced Protestant-inspired educational reforms. Drawing on social theories of cultural hegemony and insider-outsider roles, Mahoney traces the rise of the Law School controversy to the interplay of three powerful forces: the emergence of the liberal, nonsectarian research university; the development of a Catholic middle class whose aspirations included attendance at such institutions; and the Catholic church's increasingly strident campaign against modernism and, by extension, the intellectual foundations of modern academic life.
This is a well-researched and important monograph that scholars of American Catholicism and of higher education in twentieth century America will read with interest.
A careful historical study of Catholic (especially Jesuit) higher education in Protestant America in the late 1800s and early 1900s... Highly recommended.
Joseph M. Cronin
Daniel M. Murtaugh
Anthony J. Blasi
Mark Massa, S.J.
A fascinating documentary on the struggles between 'descendants of Luther and the sons of Loyola'... Explains how the creation of modern secular universities forced Catholic colleges to adapt or languish.
The values were, on both sides, largely unexamined and, as a result, produced many ironies when they were called into explicit conflict. Mahoney's account is particularly good at exposing these ironies in a way that is at once sympathetic and unsparing.
A fascinating story.
- Johns Hopkins University Press
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What People are saying about this
Sophisticated and comprehensive. Looks at Catholic higher education not only from the standpoint of Catholic institutions but also from the view of Catholic students. The author is aware of the intellectual, cultural, and social dimensions of the subject and adeptly weaves them together. This book makes an important contribution to the scholarship on the history of American higher education.
One could hardly imagine a sharper clash of educational philosophies than took place in the 1890s between Harvard's reform-minded Charles W. Eliot and the stoutly conservative American Jesuits. Kathleen Mahoney not only gives us a lively account of the polemical fireworks, she also illuminates a great deal of the religious and educational history that preceded it, and much that followed in later years. This is a very valuable book: well written, deeply researched, and highly original.
Meet the Author
Kathleen A. Mahoney, formerly an assistant professor of education at Boston College, is president of the Humanitas Foundation in New York City.
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