Teaching a Catholic Philosophy of Interpersonal Communication: The Case for “Soul Friendship”
While social justice education has a rich and ancient history within the Catholic Church, academic disciplines have only recently begun to make the idea of social justice relevant within courses for undergraduates. In the communication discipline, debate about social justice has been lively and varied over the last two decades, and has provided rich entry points for philosophical interpretation. This paper considers interpersonal communication from the vantage point of social justice in the Catholic intellectual tradition. While the importance of friendship for society is nothing new (Aristotle addressed this issue in the Nicomachean Ethics), contemporary cultural hindrances to a just or spiritual friendship are many in the United States. The essay discusses philosophies surrounding social justice, communication, and friendship–ultimately asking what a university course centered on “soul friendship” might look like.