Sairah Aslam | Staff Writer
The Center for Catholic Faith and Culture, headed by Darlene Weaver, has won a $400,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation that will fund a three-year-long series of projects.
The Center was established as a department of Duquesne University 5 1/2 years ago, at which time Weaver, an ethicist, was appointed director.
Weaver said, “[It] exists in order to help build faculty competence around Duquesne’s mission and identity … [It] supports research grants, sponsors a teaching series, completes book manuscripts and helps direct the core curriculum.”
The New York-based Henry Luce Foundation, which awarded the grant, supports projects in various fields: STEM, the arts, religion, international affairs and public policy, to name a few. In this case, it will fund numerous, ambitious initiatives led by Weaver and the Center of Catholic Faith and Culture.
According to Weaver, “The grant will be used to accomplish a number of goals: to develop a network of scholars and policy leaders to research religions and develop practices, strategies and methods for implementation in Catholic higher education.”
Additionally, Weaver said, “The grant money will support faculty work [nationally] on [issues like] migration, the environment, racism … especially with a focus on interfaith dialogue”.
“Catholicism & the Common Good,” the name of the project, intends to shine light on the difficulty of translating religious traditions across cultures and formulate strategies through which such an effort may be undertaken.
It will also address a plethora of other social issues that will be tackled specifically at Duquesne, like trauma, community organization operations and racial inequality. If the spectrum of these projects seems broad, that’s because it is meant to be.
“Catholicism & the Common Good” is a long-term series of projects meant to span several years. A network of organizations and academics from around the country will contribute, with the theme of Catholic innovation and activism at its core.
Weaver recognizes the increasingly widespread disinterest in religion throughout society. Religion could be viewed as either too stagnant or too ideological on social, economic and political issues.
Weaver said that these projects, however, are, “predicated on the idea that Catholicism has a lot to offer in resources to combat problems,” and part of the efforts of the Center of Catholic Faith and Culture are to make these resources “accessible to different audiences and to the Public.”
The project’s website offers a chance to donate a monetary gift to help “fulfill our mission,” the site said.
To learn more about the project, visit https://www.duquesnecommongood.org.