(Sacra)Mentality: Catholic Identity in the Postmodern Classroom

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Book Chapter

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This paper problematizes and attempts to negotiate some of the difficulties in dealing with the rather organically-charged outlook of certain Papal writings on teaching in Catholic Universities, most notably Ex Corde Ecclesiae (1990) and Fides et Ratio (1998). This was an early essay in which I attempted—with only partial success--to invoke Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the Body without Organs in order to open up new ways of thinking about the culture of composition teaching as it subsists inside Church-influenced higher education. My basic argument is that an experience of true multiplicity allows students an understanding of the "organ-ized" Church structure; it also provides ways to think beyond and around the stratified organs productively, without doing violence to the body of the Church or the organs themselves (a point that Deleuze and Guattari insist upon, in a more general context, in A Thousand Plateaus [1988])



Cain, Jeffrey. "(Sacra)Mentality: Catholic Identity in the Postmodern Classroom." Negotiating Religious Faith in the Composition Classroom. Eds. Elizabeth Vander Lei and Bonnie L. Kyburz. Portsmouth: Heinemann Boynton/Cook, 2005.