Catholic Higher Education in Protestant America: The Jesuits and Harvard in the Age of the University

Catholic Higher Education in Protestant America: The Jesuits and Harvard in the Age of the University

by Kathleen A. Mahoney

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801881350
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 360
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kathleen A. Mahoney, formerly an assistant professor of education at Boston College, is president of the Humanitas Foundation in New York City.

Table of Contents

Part I: Between Protestants and Catholics
1. The Descendants of Luther and the Sons of Loyola
2. Time: The Harvard Law School Controversy and the Modern Imperative
Part II: Among Catholics
3. Persons: The Bonds of Religion and the Claims of Class
4. Place: Americanism and the Higher Education of Catholics
Part III: Among Jesuits
5. Novus Ordo Academicus and the Travails of Adapting
A. Harvard Law School's Select List of Colleges, 1893
B. Colleges and Programs Added and Removed from Harvard Law School's Select List of Institutions, 1894–1903
C. President Eliot and Jesuit Colleges, by Timothy Brosnahan, S.J.
D. Select List of Jesuit Superiors, Provincials, and Presidents

What People are Saying About This

Julie Reuben

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.

Julie Reuben, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Philip Gleason

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.

Philip Gleason, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

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