Tradition and Institutional Intelligibility

How Boston College understands itself as an institution, particularly a higher education institution, hinges upon larger, more substantial, and continuously developing traditions.  That is, as both a Catholic-Jesuit institution and a higher education institution, Boston College necessarily places itself within two larger ongoing and ever-evolving relationships between the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the developing tradition of American higher education.  How these two relationships interact with one another necessarily influences how we, as Student Affairs professionals, understand mission, identity, policy, assessment, and the wider institutional culture these factors substantiate.

The Catholic Intellectual Tradition particularly distinguishes Boston College from other institutions – and necessarily informs and makes intelligible the distinct environment in which we, as professionals, function.  This ‘intellectual tradition’, the ongoing process of coming to a greater understanding of what is necessitated by understanding oneself (personally and socially) as ‘Catholic-Christian’, is constituted by dialogue and reflection through the fusion of faith with reason.  To this end, though this intellectual tradition is constantly coming to a clearer understanding of itself, it nevertheless serves as the ‘soul’ that animates its constituents.

In short, it provides all who work within institutions informed by its tradition, like Boston College, to most fully understand not simply what the institution’s culture is, but moreover, why the institution believes the what it does.  It makes the mission, identity, policy, assessment, and Boston College’s institutional culture intelligible.  This provides professionals, regardless of personal faith, an opportunity to sufficiently orient the why behind the what that defines Boston College.

On Thursday, November 10th at 4:30pm in the Heights Room, noted and highly regarded philosopher Charles Taylor, Professor Emeritus at McGill University, will speak on the topic of ‘Revitalizing the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Catholic University Campuses’.  Don’t miss this opportunity to either introduce and/or deepen your understanding of how the Catholic Intellectual Tradition influences Boston College’s ‘Catholic’ mission.


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