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Vocation across the AcademyA New Vocabulary for Higher Education$
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David S. Cunningham

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190607104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190607104.001.0001

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Vocabularies of Vocation

Vocabularies of Vocation

Language for a Complex Educational Landscape

(p.315) Epilogue Vocabularies of Vocation
Vocation across the Academy

David S. Cunningham

Oxford University Press

The breadth of the language of vocation and calling, together with the complexity of higher education in the contemporary setting, suggests that we need to think of vocation not simply as offering a new vocabulary, but a number of different ranges of vocabulary (each of which may be useful in certain circumstances). Five such domains are identified here, characterized in turn by the language of formation (including the important role of narrative), of the external origins of one’s callings, of alternatives to the language of “choice,” of the linking of our lives to one another, and of the long-term nature of vocational reflection and discernment. One’s language reflects one’s life; thus, the more that higher education is able to become more proficient in various “vocabularies of vocation,” the more it will enable its students to develop new ways of seeing and hearing that will sustain them throughout their lives.

Keywords:   vocation, calling, formation, narrative, external call, choice, decisions, linked lives, language, vocabulary

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