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Una Cadegan

Theodore Hesburgh: Catholic Intellectual

What is a Catholic intellectual? Is not the notion of a Catholic or ‘religious intellectual’ something of a contradiction in terms? I pose that question because those who study intellectuals and intellectual history sometimes argue that an ‘intellectual’ is a distinct type—a person that fits no religious mold. I think a Catholic intellectual, as opposed to say an ‘intellectual Catholic’, is indeed a distinct species within the genus of Catholic. Even so, thinking about these two types—Catholic intellectuals versus intellectual Catholics—helps one understand the place in American and Catholic history of the recently deceased University of Notre Dame President, Theodore Read more