The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Decolonizing the Curriculum in the Light of the Incarnation

Authored by Fr. Stephen Reilly in Issue #7.4 of Catechetical Review

On March 9, 2015, protests erupted among students of the University of Cape Town, South Africa under the slogan #RhodesMustFall. They demanded that the statue of British colonial-era politician and diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes be removed from a prominent place on their campus. The protest was given further impetus internationally by movements such as Black Lives Matter as well as reactions to widespread accusations of institutional racism. In addition to inspiring demands for other statues to be torn down or relocated—from Edward Colson in Bristol, England, to Hannah Duston in New Hampshire—the broader demands of the protest gave birth to an academic movement known as “Decolonizing the Curriculum.”

This term itself is contested and therefore difficult to define. For its supporters, Decolonizing the Curriculum (DtC) entails the balancing and broadening of the academic curriculum in schools and universities from an exclusively Western-centered canon of ideas and texts to include the philosophy, worldviews, and history of other cultures. For its skeptics, it is another front in a seemingly endless culture war, which may threaten to undermine the foundations of Western Christian civilization itself. As one of the most discussed issues in education today, it is timely for us who work in Catholic schools and universities to consider the issue in the light of our faith, despite the risk of controversy. In seeking a balanced way forward, reflection on the wonder of the Incarnation may provide a way out the impasse.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Mary’s Motherhood: A Healing Balm in Our Modern Times
By Megan Madden
Free There ’s something particularly mysterious about the motherhood of Mary. Her fiat that shook the whole world as the uncontainable God chose to be contained within her womb. Her prompting at the wedding at Cana, “do whatever he tells you,” echoing through generations as if she is saying it directly to us. Her overwhelming trust in God as she... Read more
The Eucharist and Our Call to Mission
By Dr. James Pauley
Free What does it mean to receive the Eucharist, to enter into communion with Jesus? We catechists can be so (rightfully!) focused on explaining how the Eucharist is Jesus himself that we might not spend time with our students considering the ramifications of receiving this divine gift. What does receiving the Eucharist mean for us? Is it for our... Read more
The Passover and the Eucharist as Redemptive Sacrifices
By Ben Safranski
I suspect that most Catholics who have some familiarity with the Bible and the Eucharist could tell you that the Eucharistic celebration, rooted in the Last Supper, has connections with the Passover of Exodus and Jewish practice. We know that Jesus celebrated the Last Supper in the context of the Passover Feast and that he and his apostles used... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now