To enhance the vitality of the University of St. Thomas’ Catholic identity, the Center for Catholic Studies has taken an active role in faculty development. Many faculty members come to St. Thomas interested in the Catholic intellectual tradition and are eager to incorporate aspects of it in their courses, but they often have had little opportunity for a sustained encounter with Catholic thought and culture.

To enhance the vitality of the University of St. Thomas’ Catholic identity, the Center for Catholic Studies has taken an active role in faculty development. Many faculty members come to St. Thomas interested in the Catholic intellectual tradition and are eager to incorporate aspects of it in their courses, but they often have had little opportunity for a sustained encounter with Catholic thought and culture.

This seminar was the most recent of over a dozen such summer seminars on aspects of the Catholic intellectual tradition that have been sponsored by the center over the last decade. The series commenced in 1994 with five seminars on the broad theme of “The Catholic University in the 21st Century.” Subsequent seminar topics have included the relationship between science and theology, the teachings of John Henry Newman, the relationship between Catholicism and American culture, and the Church and the Holocaust. For the last eight years, the seminars have been organized by Dr. Kenneth Kemp from the Philosophy Department.

Faculty participants come from a wide variety of disciplines, including mathematics, theology, business, English, philosophy, the sciences and law. The objective is to provide participants with an opportunity to discuss important ideas and authors with their colleagues in a way that contributes to sustaining the Catholic intellectual culture at the university. Response to the seminars has been extremely positive. One business professor wrote after a recent seminar, “What surprised me most of all was how very accessible Cardinal Ratzinger’s work is to a serious reader, but a non-theologian, like myself. … Each morning I approached the session with eagerness; each noon I left feeling challenged and ‘filled’ by the content of the session.”