John Crawford, FSC, PhD
The purpose of this short essay is to investigate how the concepts of evangelization and catechesis represent two related and mutually supportive tasks for the Church of the 21st century. The topic will be approached through three principal lenses: 1) through Biblical Scriptures and the experiences of the early Christian Church; 2) as the distinction and relationship between evangelization and catechesis may have been understood by John Baptist de La Salle; and, 3) as the interplay between evangelization and catechesis is understood today through Papal teachings. The methodology employed in this study argues that by learning from past historical periods, we might apply the lessons analogously to our own circumstances. The apparent blurring of lines that exists today between evangelization and catechesis seems actually to be rooted in the past experiences of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The tension between the terms actually is both a healthy and life-giving paradox, as evangelization and catechesis are efforts that must be experienced together to do justice to the task of expanding the Gospel in the 21st century.
Catechesis; evangelization; American Catholic higher education
About the Author
John M. Crawford, FSC, Ph.D.
Brother John M. Crawford, FSC, is an Associate Professor of Religion at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. The dissertation for his PhD in Religion and Education at Boston College is entitled “Extending Lasallian Charism: Its Texts and Lived Contexts for the Spirituality of Teachers.”