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Center for Catholic Studies | Lectures



Lectures at the Center for Catholic Studies

Professor Martina Saltamacchia: They Lived in Hovels and Built Cathedrals: The Construction of the Cathedral of Milan

March 19, 2014
Prof. Martina Saltamacchia

The Cathedral of Milan 

Who built the Cathedral of Milan?  What resources financed such an ambitious project? For centuries, the construction of Milan's Cathedral was attributed to Prince Gian Galeazzo Visconti.  A new, detailed analysis of unedited medieval documents turns this classic interpretation upside down.

Father John Hotze on Fr. Emil Kapaun, Medal of Honor, Servant of God

February 26, 2014
Fr. John Hotze

The Life of Fr. Emil Kapuan 

On May 23, 1951, US Army Chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun, died in a prisoner-of-war camp in North Korea. While a prisoner, he cared for sick and wounded fellow-prisoners despite his own ill health.  Eventually, a blood clot in his leg prevented him from continuing this work. He was denied medical assistance and the clot led to his own death.

On April 11, 2013, President Obama awarded Fr. Kapaun the Congressional Medal of Honor for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. He has been declared a "Servant of God" by the Roman Catholic Church and Diocese of Wichita, who together with the Congregation of the Causes of Saints at the Vatican, have begun the formal process to declare him a saint.

Professor Duncan Stroik on The Future of Sacred Architecture 

October 10, 2013
Prof. Duncan Stroik

The Future of Sacred Architecture 

Duncan G. Stroik is a practicing architect, author, and Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. His award-winning work includes Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in California, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin, and Saint Joseph Cathedral in South Dakota.

A frequent lecturer on sacred architecture and the classical tradition, Stroik has recently authored The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence and the Eternal. Mr. Stroik is an inaugural member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and founding editor of Sacred Architecture Journal. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Yale University School of Architecture.

George Weigel on Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st Century 

April 15, 2013
George Weigel

Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st Century

Author and theologian George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Washington D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, draws upon his newly published book.

Rev. James Burns: "Creating a Dynamic Vision of Catholic Mission and Identity" 

October 22, 2012
Rev James Burns

Creating a Dynamic Vision of Catholic Mission and Identity: A University Experience

Rev. James Burns, interim Dean of the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College and former Co-chair and Associate Professor of the Graduate School in  Psychology at the University of St. Thomas, discusses the history and role of mission and identity in higher education.

Spring 2012 Disputation 

March 28, 2012
Dr. Greg Coulter
Fr. Andrew Cozzens

Is the vocation to consecrated life (priesthood, religious life, etc.) superior to other vocations?

Dr. Greg Coulter, Philosophy Department, argues in the negative, and Father Andrew Cozzens, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, argues in the affirmative.
Event Poster

Creation and the New Cosmology

March 28, 2012
Fr. Robert Spitzer

Creation and the New Cosmology

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., a philosopher of science, former President of Gonzaga University, a leader in the current national discussion of science and religion, and celebrated author, will speak on the remarkable new developments in physics and mathematics that imply that the universe must have had a Super Intellect bring it into existence. He addresses what is called the "Big Bang Theory", the current consensus among physicists of how the universe began, and how alternative theories also entail a beginning and creation. Finally, Fr. Spitzer shows the complementarity between the new physics, philosophy and theology.

Sponsored by the University of St. Thomas Departments of Theology, Catholic Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Engineering, and the Saint Paul School of Divinity, as well as by the Science and Theology Network (STN). 

Unique for a Reason: Why Marriage Matters

February 15, 2012
Jason Adkins

Unique for a Reason: Why Marriage Matters

Jason Adkins, Executive Director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, will reflect on why the Church defends Civil Marriage. Co-sponsored by Campus Ministry and Catholic Studies.

Fall 2011 Disputation

December 7, 2011
Jacob Rhein
Terence Sweeney

The New Evangelization: Radical Engagement or Radical Identity?

Catholic Studies is holding its first student-run 'disputation'. How should the Church respond to contemporary culture? On Wednesday, December 7, 7:30-9:30 p.m., in the McNeely Hall Great Room, Terence Sweeney (M.A. Catholic Studies, 2011) and Jacob Rhein (M.A. Catholic Studies, ant. 2012) will take up this topic from the standpoint of history, philosophy, and theology, each defending one side of the issue in the hope that, through academic disputation and collegial conversation, a true consensus will be reached.

Jason Evert: "Romance Without Regret"

November 8, 2011
Jason Evert

Romance Without Regret

Catholic Studies, along with Campus Ministry and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis welcomes Jason Evert, an internationally renowned speaker on the subject of chastity. Jason is one of the main contributors on and author of several books for teens and young adults.

Some think that "chastity" simply means "not having sex." But that's mere abstinence: what you can't do and can't have. Chastity is more than that, it is about what YOU can do and have right now: a chaste lifestyle that brings freedom, respect, peace, and romance without regret. Jason and his wife, Crystalina, captivated the crowds at World Youth Day in 2008 and 2011.

Fr. Michael Keating: "Why Dawson Matters"

October 12, 2011
Fr. Michael Keating
, Professor of Catholic Studies

Why Dawson Matters

Part of the Thought and Culture Lecture series, sponsored by the Catholic Studies Master of Arts program, Fr. Keating speaks on Christopher Dawson, one of the most influential Catholic historians of the 20th century.

Father Michael Keating is a professor with the Department of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Modern European History from the University of Notre Dame, as well as master’s degrees in education from the University of Michigan and theology from the Angelicum in Rome. Before ordination to the priesthood, he was for 12 years a member of a lay religious order and worked in various campus-ministry settings, including at the universities of Michigan and Minnesota, as well as in settings in Europe and Latin America. He has been a speaker on themes of Church history, American youth culture, both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Gary Anderson: "Sin: A History"

September 26, 2011
Dr. Gary Anderson
, Professor of Catholic Theology and Old Testament, University of Notre Dame

Sin: A History

Dr. Anderson is the Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology and professor of Old Testament at the University of Notre Dame. Anderson's scholarship has covered the entire span of the Bible as well as its reception in early Judaism and Christianity. Dr. Anderson's visit is jointly sponsored by the Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute of Biblical Studies, the Catholic Studies Master of Arts degree program, and the Center for Catholic Studies.

Dr. Anthony Esolen: "Culture? What Culture?"

September 19, 2011
Dr. Anthony Esolen
, Professor of Renaissance English literature, Providence College

Culture? What Culture?

Dr. Esolen is professor of Renaissance English literature and the development of Western Civilization at Providence College in Rhode Island. A senior editor for "Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity", and a member of the editorial board for "Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture", he writes regularly for "Touchstone", "Catholic World Report", and "Magnificat". Dr. Esolen is author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization" and "10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child".

Spring 2011 Disputation

May 5, 2011
Dr. Christopher Tollefson
, Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina; and
Dr. Christopher Kaczor, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University

Can it be Morally Permissible to Assert a Falsehood in Service of a Good Cause?

In the wake of recent "sting" operations against Planned Parenthood by undercover activists — which revealed evidence that Planned Parenthood had participated in very illegal activity — Dr. Tollefson and Dr. Kaczor debated the morality of lying for a good cause. This disputation stems directly from an extensive online conversation at Public Discourse. It was co-sponsored by the Master's Program of the Department of Catholic Studies, the Department of Philosophy, and the university's Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy.

Dr. Tollefsen is professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina and a senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute. His latest book, co-authored with Robert George, is Embryo: A Defense of Human Life. His work has appeared in First Things, the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, and the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

Dr. Kaczor is professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University and author (most recently) of The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice. His scholarly and popular works have appeared in Crisis, Catholic World Report, The Thomist, This Rock, and the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly.

Spring 2011 Senior Community Night

May 3, 2011
Catholic Studies Seniors
; and
Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Boston

Senior Reflections and On the Announcement of New Scholarships

In the final Catholic Studies community night gathering of the year, seniors discussed their experiences in Catholic Studies and former St. Thomas theology professor Bishop Arthur Kennedy announced two new scholarships.

Spring 2011 Center & Special Collections Lecture

April 14, 2011
Julian Scott,
Grandson and Literary Executor of Christopher Dawson

The Life and Times of Christopher Dawson

Christopher Dawson, the so-called "father of Catholic Studies" and a convert to Catholicism, lived 1889 to 1970 and was the first to hold the Chauncey Stillman Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University. The collection of his works is part of the Center for Catholic Studies collection and was a gift from Eugene and Faye Sitzmann. Julian Scott his grandson, spoke about his grandfather’s work, friends and influences.

Spring 2011 Center Lecture

April 4, 2011
Dr. Reinhard Hütter,
Professor of Christian Theology, Duke Divinity School

The University's Cutting-Edge Source of its Flatness; or: Reclaiming the University's Third Dimension

Dr. Hütter, a recent convert from Lutheranism, spoke to an audience about the interelationships of faith, reason, nature, grace, freedom and the modern university.

Spring 2011 Thought and Culture Lecture

March 1, 2011
Dr. Don Briel,
Director, Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas

Why Newman Matters

Dr. Briel holds the Koch Chair in Catholic Studies and is the director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. He is also a widely respected Newman scholar. The lecture is our way to mark Pope Benedict XVI’s beatification of Cardinal Newman this past September.

Fall 2010 Center Lecture

October 4, 2010
George Weigel, senior fellow at Washington, D.C.'s Ethics and Public Policy Center

The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II – The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy

George Weigel is the bestselling Catholic author of Witness to Hope, a biography of Pope John Paul II. He also wrote Letters to a Young Catholic, The Cube and the Cathedral, and many others. Weigel is former president and currently distinguished senior fello of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

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