Foundational Premises

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The Fellows program was developed on the following premises:

  1. Because of their sustained contact with students, faculty are in a unique position to communicate and advance the mission and culture of the University through their disciplines.
  2. University structures do not facilitate easy communication and collaboration across disciplines and colleges, so opportunities for interdisciplinary sharing need to be created and supported.
  3. In the 21st century, the rapid rate of change, the burgeoning supply of  new information, the pervasive effects of  globalization, and the inter-connectedness of social and economic systems call for interdisciplinary approaches to issues, especially those in the social, economic  and moral order, a major concern of Vincentian education.
  4. The current research agenda of many St. John’s faculty, the range of professional programs, and the Vincentian tradition of concern and action for the most vulnerable in society justify the institution of an interdisciplinary group and assure a sustainable supply of faculty participants.
  5. Interdisciplinary convenings enhance the intellectual and cultural environment of the University and offer opportunities for collaboration and research across academic fields and sectors.
  6. The interest of the deans of each of the schools and colleges must be sustained because of the need for collaboration in identifying appropriative candidates and supporting interdisciplinary discussion across the University.
  7. While some disciplines are quite congruent with the interests and goals of the Vincentian Center and Chair of Social Justice, the Fellows program should be as inclusive as possible so as to demonstrate coherence in the search for truth.

Food for Thought

A Catholic university is called to become an evermore effective instrument of cultural progress for individuals as well as for society. Included among its research activities, therefore, will be a study of serious contemporary problems in areas such as the dignity of human life, the promotion of justice for all, the quality of personal and family life, the protection of nature, the search for peace and political stability, a more just sharing in the world’s resources and a new economic and political order that will better serve the human community at a national and international level.

Pope John Paul II,
Ex Corde Ecclesiae (32)