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1950s Theology Textbooks on Display in Woodstock

The Woodstock Theological Library on the first floor of Lauinger Library has a new exhibition featuring fascinating theology textbooks from the 1950s.

In 1953, more than two hundred Jesuit scholastics (students) were enrolled in the four-year theology program at Woodstock College in Maryland. Their studies were directed to, among other things, ordination and final Jesuit profession. Distinct sets of textbooks, some of which make up the exhibition, were loaned yearly to every scholastic, establishing a common academic foundation beyond which each could then venture as able.

The textbooks on display at the Woodstock Library include some commentary on authors and their theological orientations. Some texts were for those slated for final, solemn profession; others for those who would become “spiritual coadjutors” (and have less power at province congregations). Many show signs of the forces that broke loose in the Roman Catholic Church at Vatican II. Together, the textbooks provide an illuminating snapshot of the education of Jesuits during a tumultuous time in the Church.

The exhibition is open for viewing during Woodstock’s normal hours, 9:00 am-7:45 pm, Monday through Thursday and 9:00 am-4:45 pm on Friday.