Blogs > Cliopatria > Thanks, and something to read....

Aug 17, 2005 2:29 pm

Thanks, and something to read....

Thanks, Ralph, for the fabulous introduction. I'm quite delighted to be a Cliopatriarch! (Or, Cliomatriarch? I recently discovered that"historianess" is a correct, if archaic, descriptor for a woman historian. So why not Cliomatriarch?)

Since the readers of this blog have an interest in academic freedom issues, you might be interested in this article in today's Boston Globe. The conservative Catholic watchdog group The Cardinal Newman Society is calling "for the ouster of three Boston College professors who it says supported removing the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose parents fought to keep her alive."

This is disturbing on any number of levels, but most importantly I think it shows that the assault on academic freedom isn't happening exclusively at public institutions of higher learning. Boston College, a Jesuit institution, is strenuously resisting these tactics.

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Jonathan Dresner - 8/17/2005

Welcome to the crew! (Cliopatriot was my nomination for non-gendered descriptor, but Ralph's been using Cliopatrician lately, and that's OK, too. I don't think I could use "historianess" with a straight face...)

I'm not terribly concerned yet: those calling for "heads to roll" are outside the academy, and the question of academic freedom in Catholic institutions has always been less clear than in public or non-sectarian private institutions. Boston College (at which I taught a course in Japanese history, once), as you note, hasn't taken any action yet, nor are they likely to without specific direction from higher Jesuit or Vatican authorities.

I do remember reading, during the height of the controversy, arguments suggesting that the Catholic position on end-of-life care was (or at least, could be) considerably more subtle and complicated than "keep the plug in at all costs" without violating the "consistent life" ethic.