Imagining the Unseen in Catholic Studies: Complexities of Encounter, Credibility, and Oedipus

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



ONE OF MY FAVORITE Catholic Studies teaching memories derives from the very first time I taught the course based on my book project called God on Broadway. This was during all of the necessary absurdities of COVID–19 protection, so the course was split between two teams: some in-person and others online. I found that an opening round where everyone speaks was a good way to create interaction between the folks in the room and the talking heads on the screen. At Sacred Heart University, we understand the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to be an “ongoing conversation.” As such, our teaching methods try to privilege students talking and hearing from one another over the lecturer’s monologue or guiding the class through a strict lesson of leading questions (the sort that offer only the appearance of free and spontaneous dialogue). Catholic Studies takes seriously those insights into God and creation’s truth, goodness, and beauty that can only appear in the performance space of interpretive encounter between life (people) and material (texts). Only then can Catholic Studies claim, with integrity, that a central learning objective includes engaging the intellect so to learn how to love and be loved.