SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--A Marxist who says atheists and believers alike are woefully misinformed about the nature of faith and God.
“‘God’ is one of those topics that lots of people are afraid to talk about for lots of reasons”
A theologian whose work explores animals as spiritual beings.
An editor who worked with famed Catholic activist Dorothy Day through the final years of her life.
These are among the provocative and thoughtful speakers who will participate in the annual Bannan Institute lectures throughout the 2013-2014 academic year at Santa Clara University.
The Institute’s theme “What Good is God?” is especially pertinent at a time when one-fifth of the U.S. public and one-third of adults under age 30 identify as religiously unaffiliated, and when violence is justified erroneously as necessary for religious devotion, says Michael McCarthy, S.J., executive director of Santa Clara’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.
“‘God’ is one of those topics that lots of people are afraid to talk about for lots of reasons,” said McCarthy, who will give a talk April 15 on “How can a thinking person still believe in God?”
“At Santa Clara University, we are not afraid," he added.
Speakers will approach the question “What Good is God?” from multiple angles, such as:
God and Atheism. (Oct. 7) Literary critic Terry Eagleton will discuss the problems created by misunderstanding classical theology.
(Nov. 6) Jerome Baggett of SCU’s Jesuit School of Theology will discuss his upcoming book on American atheists.
God and Conscience. (Oct. 30) Catholic writers including Ron Hansen, Tobias Wolff, Bo Caldwell and Robert Ellsberg will discuss the influence of heroes of conscience such as Dorothy Day and Oscar Romero on their journeys of faith.
God and Violence. (Nov. 12) DePaul University professor William Cavanaugh will discuss the relationship between “secular” violence and “religious” violence.
God and Google. (Feb. 2, 2014) Noreen Herzfeld, a professor of theology and computer science at St. John’s University will discuss her research on the social and religious impacts of computer technology, including its impact on our collective memory and capacity for forgiveness.
God and Space. (Feb. 11) Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., the conservator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory in Rome will discuss the relationship between the assumptions of science and faith in God.
God and Literature. (Feb. 26) Pulitzer prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson will discuss grace is manifested in Shakespeare.
(Oct. 17) Former editor of Poetry magazine, Christian Wiman, will examine what a credible Christian faith might look like at the beginning of the 21st century.
God and Animals. (Mar. 1) SCU religious studies lecturer Oliver Putz, will discuss the possibility of nonhuman spiritual beings.
God and Grief. (May 7) SCU counseling psychology professor David Feldman and Cal State Northridge philosophy professor Robert Gressis will share their research to date about how faith and religious belief impacts one’s anxiety about death.
A full list of speakers and the exact dates and times of their talks can be found at www.scu.edu/ic/bannan
About the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education promotes and enhances the distinctively Jesuit, Catholic tradition of education at Santa Clara University, with a view to serving students, faculty, staff, and through them the larger community, both local and global. The vision of the Ignatian Center is to be recognized throughout Silicon Valley as providing leadership for the integration of faith, justice, and the intellectual life. More information is available at www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter/.