Constants in context : An exploration of conciliar and post-conciliar documents on the Catholic school

Journal article


Hall, David, Sultmann, William and Townend, Geraldine. (2019). Constants in context : An exploration of conciliar and post-conciliar documents on the Catholic school. Journal of Religious Education. 67, pp. 17-39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40839-019-00074-6
AuthorsHall, David, Sultmann, William and Townend, Geraldine
Abstract

Conciliar and post-conciliar documents provide a consistent stream of inspirational and informative directions for Catholic Education. This study explores the thematic constants within and across these releases, specifically in relation to the mission of the Catholic school. A series of Leximancer analyses, digital data mining processes of narrative text (Leximancer Manual in https://www.leximancer.com. Version 2.23, 2017), were applied to the eight individual and the overall combination of documents. Findings from the individual analyses emphasised the challenges, opportunities and strategies for the Catholic school relevant to time and context. Results from the combined narratives offered a synthesis of these characteristics and revealed four dominant themes; School, Life, People and Communion. The theme of School was linked with sub-themes of catholic, community, mission, education and church; Life, was accompanied by the sub-themes of work, person, human, God, culture, dialogue, faith and society; People, was expanded upon through educational, formation, students, teachers, religious, cultural, different, and social sub-themes; and Communion was reflected in the sub-themes of mission and church. Pictorial illustrations and numerical frequencies of themes and relationships suggested four dominant themes, the constants of Catholic school mission. These included: Mission Alignment (Catholic school mission as integral to the life and mission of Church); Christian Anthropology (Catholic school mission founded on what it means to be fully human); Engagement Typology (Catholic school mission in dialogue with and in service of the world); and School as a Formative Place (Catholic school mission informed by the Gospel and insights of the new evangelisation). A hermeneutic of continuity was established from the individual and collective document analyses, associated research, and commentary by Magisterium leaders. Mission constants and accompanying characteristics were nominated as paradigms of Faith, Learning, Leadership, Community and Formation. These paradigm constants are discussed as holographic in nature and the mission of the Catholic school as a dynamic and interdependent cluster of foundational characteristics.

Keywordsmission constants; Catholic schools; magisterium documents on Catholic schools; conciliar and post conciliar Catholic school documents
Year2019
JournalJournal of Religious Education
Journal citation67, pp. 17-39
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN1442-018X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s40839-019-00074-6
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range17-39
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Feb 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Sep 2021
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