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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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“Vocation Is Responsibility”

“Vocation Is Responsibility”

Broader Scope, Deeper Discernment

(p.21) 1 “Vocation Is Responsibility”
Vocation across the Academy

Margaret E. Mohrmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relationship between vocation and responsibility, pointing out that the very nature of a call is to elicit a response. Because it involves the whole person, responsibility requires that students be equipped and formed to recognize it and respond to their callings. Students may discern calls from both internal and external sources, but the consonance between these two calls is key; one’s vocation must “ring true” in terms both of others’ accounts and of one’s own. The chapter focuses on particular case studies, mostly arising from the field of medicine, in which students are forced to wrestle with the relationship between external sources of vocational discernment (others who have nudged them toward the field) and internal sources (their own evaluation of their capacities and proclivities). The overall goal of the chapter is to expand our understanding of vocation, such that its broader moral contours receive adequate attention.

Keywords:   vocation, calling, responsibility, virtue, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, medicine, internal call, external call

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