The intrinsic advantages of foreign language study are numerous and arguably more vital than ever in our increasingly globalized and multicultural world. Catholicism, too, is among the world’s most multilingual traditions. In the university setting, nothing deepens acquisition of linguistic and cultural fluency more than studying texts in the original language in a community of language learners. Exposure to literature, culture, thought, and political discourse in the original language of expression lends both an invaluable insight into the belief patterns of different cultures and a deepening understanding of those beliefs and traditions.
Extensive reading, writing, and speaking in a different language requires students to place themselves in the idiom of the underlying culture and its way of thought. Through this intensive engagement with words and ideas, students gain a new perspective on differences of culture and thought, and, ultimately, on their place in a diverse world.
The option to satisfy a core requirement in advanced language and culture should be open to students who have passed through intermediate language and culture courses and are able to take advanced courses at or above the 30000 level. These courses would involve work taught in the target language, with attention both to continuing development of language competency and to engagement with cultural content.