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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Land O' Lakes at 50: The State of Catholic Higher Education


priest teaching to students

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
8:30 am - 4:30 pm • Gasson Hall 100

Co-sponsored with The Institute for the Liberal Arts, Office of the Dean of Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties at Boston College.


Abstract: In July 1967 a small group of Catholic educators and religious leaders convened at a conference center in the tiny town of Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin to discuss how North American colleges and universities could participate in the post-Vatican II renewal of the Church. They produced an historic memorandum, later known simply as "Land O’ Lakes,” that outlined a new understanding of relations between Catholic universities and the Church hierarchy in areas including governance, academic freedom, and academic theology. This document proved to be both influential and controversial, and the path it laid down continues to have a profound impact on Catholic higher education.

To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Land O’ Lakes, the Boisi Center is convening a group of distinguished scholars and university presidents for a public conference at Boston College in October 2017 to reflect on the impact this agreement had on Catholic higher education, the Catholic intellectual tradition in America, and, more broadly, the relationship between religion and American public life.

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