CWL sponsors chair in Catholic studies at St. Mary's

  • August 26, 2010
Michael DugganMichael Duggan has been appointed the first CWL Chair for Catholic Studies at St. Mary’s University College in Calgary.

This is the first endowed chair of its kind in Western Canada and is funded by the Catholic Women’s League. The permanent, senior academic position was established to encourage the advancement of Catholic education through exemplary teaching and research.

St. Mary’s is a Catholic, student-focused liberal arts and science teaching institute.

As chair, Duggan told The Catholic Register he hopes to “give the students and community an awareness of the international dimensions of Catholicism, the richness of the tradition and also the great diversity.”

Duggan referred to the “inculturation” of Catholicism since Vatican II and the traditions in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

“John Paul II did a lot of writing on the relationship between faith and culture. As we develop (our) program in Catholic studies, we want to expose students to an acquaintance with the dialogue between faith and culture,” he said.

In the future, St. Mary’s hopes to develop a major program in Catholic studies. So far, only minor programs are being offered in Canadian universities.

Duggan said as chair, he hopes to work closely with St. Mary’s education program to provide a solid foundation in Catholicism for students who are graduating as teachers.

On the chair being funded by the Catholic Women’s League, Duggan said it “bears witness to the commitment that people have to post-secondary Catholic education.”

“What we really need to understand is that the future of the Church is with our education of young people and so I hope this is the beginning of lay Catholics throughout Canada seriously considering supporting post-secondary Catholic education,” he said.

Duggan is an associate professor of theology and religious studies at St. Mary’s, where he has taught full-time since 1998. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan, where he majored in philosophy. He also holds a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome) and a doctoral degree in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America.

Duggan is an associate editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and is the author of The Consuming Fire: A Christian Guide to the Old Testament.

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