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Faith & Reason

“Faith is a continuous stimulus to seek, never to cease or acquiesce in the inexhaustible search for truth and reality… Intellect and faith are not foreign or antagonistic to divine Revelation, they are both prerequisites for understanding its meaning…for approaching the threshold of the mystery…The Catholic faith is therefore rational and also nurtures trust in human reason…In the irresistible desire for truth, only a harmonious relationship between faith and reason can show the correct path to God and to self-fulfilment.” -Benedict XVI

2019-2020

Fridays, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Lunch Provided
October 18, 25, November 1, & 8
Fox-Fels Hall, 2nd Floor Conference Rm
4 Weeks

This fall, we are investigating the relationship between art, beauty and faith.  We will ask questions like: How do these three things inform each other and feed each other? Does beauty aid a life of faith? What effect does beauty have on the human soul? Why do we seek it, does it seek us?

In order to explore these questions, we’ll explore a variety of voices including Madeleine L’Engle, Thomas Merton, Roger Scruton, Wassily Kandinsky, John Paul II, Thornton Wilder, and more!

Lunch and a reader will be provided. 

To RSVP email Jess at: jferro@sas.upenn.edu.

Reader: Access it HERE

Room Details:

Fox-Fels Hall, 2nd Floor Conference Rm. To enter the building see map below:

2018-2019

Fridays, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Lunch Provided
March 15 – April 12
Houston Hall (see room details below)
5 Weeks

A recent study found that “more Americans [are] suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression” than ever recorded. Anxiety and fears about the future have the contemporary mind drowning and spinning in what some have called an “age of anxiety.”

Even the Marie Kondo craze has resulted in various articles discussing millennial burnout and the life-changing effect decluttering can have not only on your home but on your interior, mental space. Whether you’re a student, a businessperson, teacher, parent, or sibling, anxiety and depression can unexpectedly overwhelm us.

Christianity has a long tradition of writings on reality and being, but can these global voices, from an African bishop to a Jewish philosopher, Medieval professor and American social activist and French mystic, offer a salve to heal the modern heart? This 5-week seminar will explore these within the context of contemporary living and wellness. Lunch and a reader will be provided. This program is also co-sponsored by Penn Catholic Newman Community.

To RSVP email Jess at: jferro@sas.upenn.edu.

Reader: Access it HERE

Room Details:

3/15: Brachfeld Room
3/22: Bishop White
3/29: Bishop White
4/5: Chaplain’s Living Room (2nd Floor of Houston)
4/12: Bishop White

Description:

Are Christians monotheists? Is the doctrine of the Trinity coherent? And what is the significance of so complex a teaching for theology, anthropology, politics, and ordinary life?  Join us as we investigate one of the central doctrines of Christianity from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Location: Fox-Fels Hall Conference Room

Time:  This module will be split into 5 sessions. They will take place on 10/12 | 10/19 | 10/26 | 11/2 | 11/9 |, from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.

Register: For any questions and to RSVP contact Jessica Ferro, our Program Coordinator, at jferro@sas.upenn.edu.

Sessions:

 I        Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, Chapter V  (10/12)

II       Gregory of Nyssa, “On Not Three Gods”   (10/19)

Numerous critics, including Christians who rejected the formal doctrines laid down in the Nicene Creed, have argued that the doctrine of the Trinity is tritheism. How can one worship three divine persons, and yet maintain the traditional Jewish and Christian belief that there is only one God, especially when one also maintains a belief in divine simplicity, i.e., that God has no parts? Gregory of Nyssa’s articulation and defense of Trinitarian doctrine was crucial for the development of Nicene Christianity, and will aid our own inquiry into the “oneness” of God.  This week we’ll explore Gregory’s answer to the problem in “On Not Three Gods.”  

III      Augustine of Hippo, De Trinitate, Book V  (10/26)

IV      Theresa of Avila, Seventh Mansions, Chapter I  (11/2)

Over the last several weeks, we have considered the Trinity from the perspective of systematic theology.

In this session, we will take a very different approach in light of Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle.  Teresa describes an intellectual vision of the Trinity in the final stage of spiritual development and a consequent indwelling of the soul by all three Divine Persons.

We will consider Trinity as telos, and mysticism as an alternate—dare we say, superior—way of knowing.

      Jacques Maritain, The Person and the Common Good, Chapter IV   (11/9)

Can Trinitarian theology provide guidance for politics? Or does the difference between God and human nature make such claims tenuous and potentially misleading? In this master class, theologian Frederick C. Bauerschmidt will guide a conversation on Jacques Maritain, who appealed to Trinitarian doctrine in his defense of human rights.

Readings: Access HERE