The jesuit difference (?): Narratives of negotiating spiritual values and secular practices

Erika L. Kirby, M. Chad McBride, Sherianne Shuler, Marty J. Birkholt, Mary Ann Danielson, Donna R. Pawlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


We detail the experiences of a department of six faculty members in negotiating spirituality in a Jesuit, Catholic University. Grounding our work in “co-constructed narrative” as a method, we utilize narratives gathered through self-reflection, conversation, and interviews to elucidate how contradictory conditions are created through competing discourses of spiritual values and secular practices. These competing discourses create tensions of (a) embracing/resisting, (b) inclusion/exclusion, and (c) proclamation/silence. Faculty narratives revealed the ways they frame and negotiate these tensions in their attempts to construct their identities in relation to the organization and its values. Dialogic theory (Bahktin, 198119861993) is utilized to interpret faculty narratives as well as offer new directions for organizational communication theorizing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-105
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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