Libraries in Catholic Universities: Unanticipated Sites for Interreligious Dialogue…and Conflict

WELBURN, William and ZANONI, Jean and WELBURN, Janice (2019) Libraries in Catholic Universities: Unanticipated Sites for Interreligious Dialogue…and Conflict. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 83 - Religions: Libraries and Dialogue Special Interest Group (SIG RELINDIAL).

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2522
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Libraries in Catholic Universities: Unanticipated Sites for Interreligious Dialogue…and Conflict

Vatican II called for all Catholics to "acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods found in other religions, and the values in their society and culture" in order to "join hands with them to work towards a world of peace, liberty, social justice and moral values. ” This paper argues for a deeper understanding of a practical reality for libraries in Catholic colleges and universities as sites for dialogue and for potential conflicts over differences within and across religious and spiritual communities. Using the concept of collection development as a “social process" as theorized by Lee, we examine the value placed upon social differences in libraries against practical realities of hegemony of one faith tradition and interpretation over others. Three case examples in the Raynor Memorial Libraries of Marquette University (USA) are explored: conflict over a conservative leaning collection of Catholic materials, acquisition of the papers of social activist Dorothy Day, and the presence of the archives of the Catholic Bureau of Indian Missions, all of which pose challenges to documenting changing narratives and definitions of social justice. The paper concludes by considering the meaning and implications of information access and services to an increasing diversity of religious and spiritual experiences in a university driven by Catholicism.

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