The Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

18 Chatham Sq., Wilms Bldg.
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.1595
Fax: 412.396.4501

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    About Us

    Who We Are

    Catholic and Spiritan

    The Catholic intellectual tradition can be described as an inheritance and as a dialogue. As an inheritance, this tradition encompasses the deposit of Catholic faith along with the rich and varied historical efforts made to understand, express, apply, and live out that faith. The Catholic intellectual tradition is an inheritance that encompasses humanistic scholarship, scientific discovery, legal reasoning, professional service and expertise in fields like medicine and business, diverse cultural practices and rituals, and widely ranging forms of art and architecture. The Catholic intellectual tradition is also an ongoing dialogue. We receive this inheritance, endeavor to make sense of it in light of our particular contexts and contemporary challenges, and—importantly—we offer our own contributions. We call the tradition a dialogue not only because it is a living tradition that we shape as we receive and transmit it, but also because the Catholic intellectual tradition is committed to discovering the truth through engagement and collaboration with others.

    The Catholic intellectual tradition animates Duquesne University. It orients and informs our community in all its dimensions—academic, professional, spiritual, cultural, and moral. This common inheritance and shared dialogue unites Duquesne with other Catholic colleges and universities. Yet the Spiritan strand of that tradition imbues Duquesne with a distinctive identity and mission. Our Spiritan heritage is characterized by special commitments to educating the whole person, liberating those who suffer injustice, enacting cultural sensitivity, and sustaining spiritual openness in complex and challenging times.

    Open to dialogue and committed to non-defensive engagement

    The Catholic intellectual tradition is grounded in a fearless spirit of inquiry and a confidence that the truths of our faith and the truths of reason are not opposed, but in fact are ultimately and profoundly compatible. Accordingly, the Catholic intellectual tradition is inclusive, concerned with all people, useful to all, and interested in a wide range of topics. The Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition embraces and seeks to deepen Duquesne’s distinctive Catholic and Spiritan identity in a fashion that regards hospitality, charitable interfaith engagement, and cultural sensitivity as key ingredients for living that identity faithfully in the modern world.

    A University-wide Center emphasizing cross-disciplinary collaboration

    The Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition exists to enhance and enrich the work done by Duquesne faculty, administrators, staff, and students. The Center develops innovative ways to integrate the Catholic intellectual tradition more deeply and broadly across the life of Duquesne. Toward that end, we pursue initiatives that engage historical and contemporary Catholic thought in such fields as the arts, aesthetics, business, economics, literature, and science. The Center supports programs that connect and network scholars from across Duquesne’s ten schools.

    What We Do

    Express and deepen the Catholic and Spiritan mission of Duquesne


    We promote research, teaching, and programs that engage and contribute
    to the Catholic intellectual tradition. We communicate the mission within
    the University and outside of it. We collaborate with University offices and
    programs to support programs across sectors of the University that enable
    us to live our mission consistently. We provide collaborative support to
    University offices and programs across the board that enable us to live our
    mission consistently.

    Increase familiarity with and inclusive understandings of the Catholic
    intellectual tradition


    We support faculty scholarship that engages mission-related topics, resources
    and problems. We create opportunities for cross-disciplinary research and
    teaching that engages and applies the Catholic intellectual tradition. We
    provide programs to educate members of the Duquesne community and
    interested visitors about aspects of the Catholic intellectual tradition. We
    develop initiatives that highlight the resonance and relevance of the Catholic
    intellectual tradition in the different disciplines and professions that make
    up our ten schools. We support and cooperate with programs that focus on
    culturally diverse contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition.


    Foster research, teaching, and programs that utilize resources in the Catholic
    intellectual tradition to address contemporary problems.


    We encourage scholarship and teaching in the liberal arts, sciences, and
    professional schools that bring the resources of the Catholic intellectual
    tradition to bear on important contested issues. We support Duquesne's
    commitment to mission and justice in local and global contexts.


    Support the moral and spiritual development of members of the Duquesne
    community


    We support the work of Spiritan Campus Ministry. We look for ways
    to integrate ethics across the Duquesne curriculum. We create programs
    for faculty, staff, students and alumni to learn more about the moral and
    spiritual wisdom of Catholic tradition.