WITH REGARD to the letter from a mature student at one of the Catholic Colleges of Higher Education concerning the content of the degree courses offered at these institutions, (13 April) may I say that I sympathise with the author's dilemma.
I am presently studying for a degree at a College of Higher Education which has religious studies as one of the two main subjects.
The course involves study of a number of modem atheistic thinkers, such as Marx, Sartre, Freud and Russell.
Naturally, a great deal of this conflicts sharply with the Catholic faith to which I try to adhere, and I would agree that these other systems of thought ought not to be studied to the exclusion of the Faith, or to its detriment.
But I feel I must bring the writer's attention to the use of 'sociology, psychology, various modern philosophical concepts and history'.
It is not a renunciation of faith to acquire some knowledge and understanding of ideologies such as Marxism, one of the most powerful motive forces in today's world.
We should make it our concern to gain such insights without in any way abandoning our own commitment, so that we understand more fully what their implications are, what we are dealing with, and more importantly, that we may perceive more clearly why we believe what we do, then we will be better able to defend the Faith.
It is my fervent belief that ones Faith ought to meet the challenge and be able to withstand the test.
Refutation, not condemnation!
Stephen Jefford Hull, North Humberside