Year 3 Summary
The Emerging Scholars in Religious Ethics colloquy finalized its work on exploring and assessing key moral and ethical issues of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith traditions. In August, the group shared with each other undergraduate-friendly texts and resource bibliographies from their areas of expertise. In January, the members convened in Washington, D.C., for a workshop to review drafts of their original essays on the current and future state of religious ethics from their respective faiths. Luce funding also supported five innovation mini-grants from affiliated project scholars for projects that advance the mission of the Catholicism and the Common Good project. In addition, three Duquesne University faculty members received support to serve as editors and authors of the lead article in the 2020 special issue of Christian Higher Education, titled "Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, Walking Humbly: Christian Approaches to Community Engagement."
BUILDING COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS
CCFC partnered with the Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research to launch the Collaborative Teaching for the Common Good grant. The project was designed to support a community partner who collaborates with a faculty member on a course relating principles of the Common Good with community concerns. The grant was awarded to two co-teaching teams for the spring 2020 semester for courses on Intercultural Communication and the Sociology of Aging.
We continued to support cooperative social justice projects. Our Racial Equality and Restorative Justice Working Group, comprising faculty members, Luce graduate fellows, and members of the Elsinore Bennu Think Tank (EBTT), co-sponsored a film screening and panel discussion of "Walking While Black" in the fall and an event and reception for Life Sentences, a book of poetry and prose by EBTT members. Luce funds were also used to support the following social justice programming: the Diocese of Cleveland Catholic Charities Conference on the 2018 USCCA pastoral letter on racism; a mini-grant to Bethlehem Haven for a reading library featuring women theologians; and Inside Out training at Temple University.
RE-IMAGINING CATHOLIC HIGHER EDUCATION
Helping scholars make their knowledge and research relatable to broader audiences was a primary focus of the project this year. In the fall, members of the Research Fellows and Theology and University colloquies convened for a Media & Messaging workshop at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York. This full-day program aimed to help scholars develop and share faith-based messages more effectively on a variety of platforms. In the spring, Duquesne developed a Public Scholarship workshop, designed to assist faculty members and grad students in any discipline develop and advance their reputation for creative, civic-centered teaching and research. The workshop offered participants hands-on training from editorial experts and the opportunity to receive professional headshots and personal coaching to support their public scholarship efforts. The first program, "Writing for Newspapers and Magazines," was held in March. In addition, to increase public awareness of how Catholic ideas and ideals contribute to the common good, we created an original animated video on the concept of human dignity, a core principle of Catholic social teaching. This digital resource examines the religious and cross-cultural roots of human dignity, its meaning from a Catholic perspective, and its role in moral decision making. It was broadcast in October to coincide with Global Dignity Day through the University YouTube channel, posted on our Center website and social media platforms, and sent to academic scholars and community partners.
AFFILIATED EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Luce also provided support for Center for Catholic Faith and Culture initiatives that aligned with the project themes. These programs included Spiritan Pedagogy conversations focused on imagining a different kind of excellence, the Consortium for Christian-Muslim Dialogue, the Paluse Faculty Research grant, and the Catholic Artistic Imagination series.
The state-mandated closure of Duquesne University in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic led to the postponement or cancellation of several scheduled projects that had designated support with Luce funds. The following programs have been rescheduled for the 2020-21 academic year.
- Public Scholarship: This initiative offered specific skill-building workshops as well as resources, such as professional headshots and personalized coaching, to help advance the academic and public reputation of faculty and grad students for creative, civic-centered teaching and research. An initial workshop was held in March of 2020 and the remaining training programs will be delivered remotely via webinars. Virtual coaching sessions and an on-campus headshot session are also scheduled for fall.
- Concluding Conference: A daylong symposium on the Common Good with scholars from around the country was scheduled for April 23. Plans are underway to hold this program April 2021.
- The third Trauma-Informed Community Development (TICD) institute, scheduled originally for May 31- June 6, has been postponed until summer 2021. The week-long event focuses on the effects of personal and collective trauma and is co-sponsored by Duquesne University and community partner, the Neighborhood Resilience Project (formerly FOCUS Pittsburgh).
- A seven-day Christian Outreach Retreat was planned by Duquesne University and NRP to train volunteers to become catalysts for change. The retreat has been rescheduled for summer 2021.