An annual series of academic lectures, panel discussions, and interactive Q & A’s, featuring a range of remarkable speakers, each familiar with, and illuminating a unique facet of the intersection between faith and reason. From science to economics to philosophy, the professions, and apologetics, we examine topics of interest to students, academics, and the simply curious.
The lecture series is co-presented with the Newman Centre Catholic Mission and Catholic Conscience.
A Conversation with Rod Dreher
September 20, 2022
Live Not By Lies - impending 'Soft Totalitarianism' in the west? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once noted that people often assume that their democratic government would never submit to totalitarianism---but Dreher says it's happening. Sounding the alarm about the insidious effects of identity politics, surveillance technology, psychological manipulation, and more, he equips people to see, judge, and act in response to contemporary circumstances.
Contemplation In Community As Reason For Hope with Prof. Duquette
October 27, 2022
Writers from St. Augustine of Hippo to Jane Austen have represented men and women together observing the natural world and thus being lifted into edifying conversation. In his Confessions St. Augustine recalls standing at a window overlooking a garden in Rome and speaking with his mother St. Monica until they are drawn from God’s “works” to contemplating eternal “Wisdom”. In Austen’s novel Mansfield Park, the Oxford theology student Edmund Bertram stands gazing out a window with his cousin Fanny Price, until she declares there would be less “wickedness and sorrow” in the world if more people attended to “the sublimity of nature”. These two scenes, one historical and one imagined, suggest men and women may be lifted together into theological and ethical forms of discourse by looking beyond themselves, out of windows, onto the beauty of Creation. Situated as we are, in the twenty-first century, how could we emulate the humble, receptive, and dialogic posture of St. Monica, as remembered by her son, or of Fanny Price, as imagined by Austen? I initially learnt the practice of collaborative speaking, writing, and editing in a graduate seminar on Virginia Woolf at the University of Toronto. The experience yielded my first academic publication: a book chapter co-authored with five other people. In my own journey as an academic, which ultimately led me into the Catholic Church, I have continued to engage in very collaborative forms of scholarship. My lecture will share some of these concrete experiences of contemplation in community as reason for hope.
Building & Sustaining Supportive Networks & Relationships
November 24, 2022
Building & maintaining supportive relationships & networks. It is both easier and more difficult than ever before to build and sustain friendships and community in our time. A panel of committed, Catholic young adult professionals, including a young resident physician, a lawyer, an academic, a communications specialist, and a governmental policy analyst, look at ways of building supportive personal and professional communities in a splintered and aggressively secular world. We’ll assess the factors behind this status quo and discuss ways of staying better connected in an era of ‘disconnected connectivity’.
The False, Bad, and Ugly: Looking for Faith and Beauty in Movies and other Dark Mirrors
January 14, 2023
Professor Randy Boyagoda argues that the great interest, in recent years, in horror movies is indicative of a suppressed but enduring desire for faith and beauty. Situating his discussion in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition, Professor Boyagoda makes a case for how to best cultivate an openness to the transcendent in mundane times. Hosted by Peter Copeland of Catholic Conscience and the St. Monica Institute.