Critical Fidelity and Catholic School Leadership

  • John SullivanEmail author


Increasingly, in the future, many Catholic school leaders are likely to experience a tension between faithfully representing the church (from which they receive their mission) and applying the critical thinking and questioning that are integral to education to the pronouncements and policies of the church’s leaders. In part one of this chapter, the focus is on the need for Catholic school leaders to have sound theological foundations for their work if they are to model fidelity and to ensure that faith permeates decisions and practice. In part two I indicate a few examples of features of church life that undermine the effective carrying out of the mission of the school; I claim that these should be questioned and critiqued, in aid of that mission, and thus that the fidelity needed must be critical. In part three, some of the qualities and features that are part of critical fidelity are proposed and applied to the neuralgic issue of gender.


Theological foundations and literacy Spiritual formation and development Upholding the religious mission Faithful representation (of tradition) Workplace theology Grassroots theology Critical fidelity Gender Criticism of church leadership Critical thinking and questioning Obedience Tradition’s assets and liabilities Conflict and argument Participation Authority and dissent Listening Constructive engagement with pluralism Inculturation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Christian EducationLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK

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