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

From the Shepherds — A Broad View Makes for Fruitful Ministry
By Archbishop Charles Thompson
Free Given the vast richness of the Catholic Church, we run the proverbial risk of failing to see the forest for the trees. At any given moment, there are great things happening in a parish, diocese, province, region, or the Church universal. For instance, in addition to the Synod on Synodality taking place in the Church universal and the National... Read more
Catholic Schools — Building Support for Parents from Catholic Schools
By Clare Kilbane
Free Teachers, administrators, and others working in Catholic schools are devoted to their students. They want what is best for them. This is why they will want to increase the variety and level of support offered to parents. Doing so will not only help mothers and fathers fulfill their responsibilities to their children but also help the school... Read more
Scribes for the Kingdom: Leveraging Old Media into New
By Jason Gawaldo
“Then every scribe who has been instructed for the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old” (Mt 13:52). The scribes were the lay ecclesial ministers and catechists of their day. They safeguarded the Scriptures and written traditions of Israel so that they could be passed down and... 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