Authentic Christian faith supports the pluralism of the contemporary university. The Catholic tradition holds that all aspects of reality are created by God and that every natural and human value mirrors God the creator. Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins celebrated this vision when he wrote, "The world is charged with the grandeur of God."9 Christian humanism in the Jesuit tradition seeks to discover God's grandeur through every academic discipline and through every University activity, from drama to the sciences, from mathematics to community service.
Standing in the Catholic tradition, Jesuit education takes religious and personal faith seriously. This sense of purpose extends even beyond the role of religious studies in the curriculum and the religious activities supported by Campus Ministry. At Santa Clara, people from diverse backgrounds and religious beliefs are encouraged to work together to develop into a community seeking answers to ultimate questions.
This does not mean, however, that every faculty, staff, and student activity has an explicitly religious dimension. One contemporary Jesuit educator has observed that "perhaps it is not a bad shorthand formula to say that in a pluralist and overtly secular culture, a religious university is one which keeps open the lines of communication about the meaning of faith, keeps finding better language in which to carry on the discussion."10 In a very real sense, this University will remain vibrant as long as that discussion continues. Every academic discipline needs to be represented if the University is to be genuinely Catholic. And matters of ultimate concern must be addressed if the disciplines themselves are to be true to their genuine roots in the human experiences of puzzlement, curiosity, and wonder.