Education's Highest Aim
Teaching and Learning through a Spirituality of Communion
Michael James, Thomas Masters, and Amy Uelmen (about)
“Here is an educational philosophy, a pedagogy and a practice grounded in the vision of unity, in a spirituality of communion. It is one that invites students, faculty, staff, administrators and families to work cooperatively for the development of the whole person. This is an educational aim of the highest order worth working together to achieve."
Anthony J. Cernera, Ph.D.
President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities
“… At the heart of the authors’ application … is the principle that the modern tensions of educational practice, including fragmentation, isolation, and secularism, can be reimagined through a ‘spirituality of communion’ among ‘administrators, students, teachers, counselors, coaches, and maintenance staff.’ The authors contend that Lubich’s description of ‘existential identity,’ where one ‘achieves unity with another through a process of emptying oneself to be fully present with the other,’ can provide the harmony that is missing from a society in which individual competence is the norm.
Many of the stories and discussions could be ideal for an approach to the classroom and faculty meetings, and to learning how to walk alongside one another wherever conflict arises. In both complexity and simplicity, the book is a pleasant reminder of Jesus’s summary of the law by first loving God and then loving one another. Christian administrators, teachers, and parents will find this book of particular interest.”
Karen Buchanan and Ken McChesney
from their review in Journal of Education and Christian Belief; Vol. 16, no. 1 (Spring 2012)
Michael James earned his bachelor’s degree in Theology and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. James also held a number of administrative, teaching and research positions at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University. He was the senior student affairs and enrollment management officer at Mount Marty College, South Dakota before serving as Vice President for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC. James is currently a Fellow in the Center for Catholic Education at Boston College where he directs the Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education, teaches in the Higher Education program graduate concentration in Catholic University Leadership, conducts research and lectures on Catholic university leadership and mission, and is a co-editor of the journal, Catholic Education. James also serves on the boards of Ministering Together and the Conference for Mercy Higher Education.
Thomas M. Masters holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Lewis University, a master’s in English Literature from DePaul University, and a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois Chicago. He has taught English at the Leyden High Schools, Franklin Park, IL; humanities at Lewis University; rhetoric and composition at the University of Illinois Urbana and at the University of Illinois Chicago; and in DePaul University’s Multicultural Urban Educator program. He has lectured and published widely concerning the history of writing pedagogy and has worked with a variety of educational reform initiatives through the Focolare Movement’s Education and Unity. He is editorial director for New City Press.
Amy J. Uelmen holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a J.D. from Georgetown University, and an M.A. in Theology from Fordham University. She currently serves as the director of the Institute on Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work at Fordham Law School where she teaches and writes in the area of Catholic social thought and the law. She has lectured and published widely on how religious values might inform the practice of law and how principles of dialogue might inform debates about religion in the public square. She is a frequent contributor to the Focolare Movement’s monthly magazine, Living City.
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