Three waves in modern Catholic education : from isolationism via modernity to post-modernity.
This study argues that there have been three waves of modern Catholic education, with two major ships in the last thirty
years. The first wave, which I call the Tildentinel institutional', was the product of the Council of Trent, and rcflcctcd the
narrow defensive priorities of a Church which felt itself besiegedb y encn-deso n all sides, and was inherently hostile to the
intellectual force of modernity. The fir-st ship look place in the mid-I 960s, and masks the arrival of the second wave, which I
have called the 'experiential Vexpaimentall. It emerges as an immediate response to the reforms of the Second Vatican
Council and essentially totally reversed the Church's previous isolationist policy as regards the modem world, a fact which
clearly had profound policy implications for Catholic education The second a,v ew as therefore grounded in this new policy
of openness and dialogue with the modem world, consequentliy twas more open to the then current rescarch insights in
educatione, specially child-centred experientiaal pproachets en in favour.I t is also associated in educationatl erms with the
crisis, which gripped the Catholic Church in the wake of Vatican U. Ile next shijl to the third 'restorationistIntegrationtst'
mnw, coulda t first glanceb e dismisseda st he inevitablec onservativree actiont o the reformso f the 1960s%, whicinh part it is,
but I believei t to be more than merer eaction.C onsequentlyI , have arguedt hat it representsa more sophisticatedcr itical
analysisi n both theologicaal nd educationatle rmso f the modernw orld in the postV atican1 1p eriod.E achm aveI, maintain,
correspondms ith a pcriod-specificC hurchs trategya s regardsm odernity.F roni this perspectiveth ef irst Kvver epresentsa
strategyb asedo n absoluter esistanceto modernity,t hesecondw avea ccommodationw,h ile the third wavei s in a sensea n
amalgamo f the two previousw aves,a nd representsa n ambivalentt ms-modem strategyo f selectiveT Csistmccto the
modemworld. The third wavec oincides% %itthhe pontificateo f PopeJ ohnP aul U and representsa n attemptt o find a postmoderns
olutiont o the problemsa risingf rom modernity,a nd so dcmandsa morec onfidenta ssertiono f Catholici dentity and
culture, and a readinessto return to a more systematicp resentationo f the Catholicf aith. This policy is underpinnedb y a
radical assertioni,n terms of uitness,o f the sociald emandso f the Gospel,m tdchi s useda s a meansm bcrcbyt he Church,a s
it seesi t, ran confront false moderni deologiesa nd values.T his approachis also supportedb y a strongf eeling running
throught he CatholicC hurcht hat duringt he crisis that followcdt he CouncilC atholicismto ok a too deepq uaff of 'secularism'
which has donem ucht o destroyt he sacred1jeculabr alancem ithin the Church.I le third wave.t hen, I am suggestingi,s an
attemptb y the Churcht o restoret his balanceT. be main bulk of thcwork is context.T he thesisi s divided into threes ections.
The first dealsw ith definiitionsa nd looks at Catholic educationfr om the macrop erspectiveT. he seconds ectionf ocuseso n
the local Catholic community in England and Wales and its engagement witeh education issues, from the particular
perspective of the development of the Catholic schools system in this country. The third sectiond eals% %itmh y o%n; case
study,w lich at 'Corei!s concerned% ithd iscoveringth e ideas, and attitudeso f Catholicp riestst o Catholic education ; with a specific focus upon Ctholic shools , wich I hope wll throw some lght on my central tesis.My cases tudy i very much a
study wthin a study,and wuld have lttle value i it did not address the current issues n modemC atholice ducationI. will
analyseth e continuingd ebatew ithin the Catholicc ommunityo n the role andp laceo f the schoolsi,n a changeda ndc hanging
environmentf,r om the perspectiveo f the wavesth esis.