Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate on Tuesday (April 25) by the John Templeton Foundation. Over his 50 years of research in philosophy of religion, epistemology and metaphysics, Plantinga has advanced landmark arguments for the existence of God, returning the questions of religious belief to the common discourse of academic philosophy.
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The collaborative global research project, Under Caesar's Sword, is co-directed by political scientist Daniel Philpott. “In Response to Persecution,” a report on the UCS project’s findings, was launched April 20 in a day-long symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies, will spend a year studying three predominant forms of violence in sub-Saharan Africa after being named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017–2018, one of six scholars selected from members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Katongole will begin a yearlong study in January aimed at looking at ethnic, religious, and ecological violence in African countries south of the Sahara.
Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of 15 Catholic delegates invited by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to participate in a bilateral conversation with 15 Muslim counterparts at Al-Azhar al-Sharif Center for Dialogue (ASCD) Feb. 22-23 in Cairo, Egypt. Reynolds, whose research centers on the Quran and Muslim-Christian relations, believes the greatest opportunities for progress come from emphasizing what Christians and Muslims have in common — the shared stories, history and values.
Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.
The study found that voucher expansion caused significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious activities.
After initially planning on pursuing a career in sports medicine, Kim Lisiak '13 changed her plans after a first-year theology course at Notre Dame. She switched her majors to theology and Arts and Letters pre-health and began exploring a new question—how to help people in a way that would have as great an impact as being a doctor. She now uses her liberal arts background every day as chief of staff to the CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and finds the company’s mission to provide innovative, compassionate care a perfect fit.
While some observers are hailing this find as the 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave, James VanderKam, a leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Theology, cautions that the findings need to be placed “in context.”
Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion.
Timothy Matovina, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected to receive the 2016 Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research. The Cushing Medal is intended to recognize the work of Church leaders, who, like Cardinal Cushing, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of the Catholic Church’s needs through research.
Notre Dame’s annual Rome Seminar brings together graduate students and junior faculty members from around the world to learn from top scholars and interact with peers at the University’s Rome Global Gateway. Sponsored by the Italian Studies at Notre Dame program and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the seminar’s interdisciplinary topic changes each year.
“When you look at which men and women U.S. Catholics have wanted to become saints, you actually learn a lot about how they understood themselves, not only as Catholics but also as members of American society. ”
— Kathleen Sprows Cummings
At the close of Black Catholic History Month, celebrated every November, Notre Dame is preparing major new resources for the ongoing study of religious experiences and social contexts highlighted during the month. Leaders from the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) recently presented a unique historical collection to the University Archives of the University of Notre Dame. It promises to significantly augment the documentary record not only for African American Catholic studies, but also for broader scholarship in U.S. religious history.
The Global Religion Research Initiative at Notre Dame, directed by Christian Smith, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, is a newly launched initiative in the center that aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia. Smith was awarded $4.9 million from the Templeton Religion Trust and will fund more than 150 research proposals by distributing $3.1 million to scholars of global religion through three rounds of applications over the next three years.
Christmas nativity scenes recreated by cultures from around the world are on display in six Notre Dame campus buildings through Jan. 31, 2017. The third annual International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage features 30 crèches on loan from the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. The exhibit is sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life.
While universality—and unity amid diversity—is a fundamental characteristic of Roman Catholicism, all-too-familiar issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and authority have wrought the church with internal conflict and no clear path to finding middle ground. A new book, co-edited by Mary Ellen Konieczny, intends to start the conversation about the polarization in the Catholic Church through healthy debates and genuine engagement.
Presentations by University faculty and researchers, Mass, a service project, a 5K run/walk and marching band performances are planned leading up to kickoff at the Alamodome.
The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies will convene a gathering of theologians and other scholars in Havana Oct. 16-18 to discuss the impact of Pope Francis’ visits to Latin America and the United States. The colloquium, to be held in the Casa Sacerdotal (Priests’ House) of the Archdiocese of Havana, will include participants from throughout Latin America and the United States — among them, a group of Notre Dame undergraduate students enrolled in one of the institute’s theology courses.
University of Notre Dame alumnus Robert P. McGrath and his wife, Joan, have made a $15 million gift to his alma mater to endow the University’s Institute for Church Life.
In his new book, American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global (Princeton University Press), McGreevy uses individual religious experiences and others as a gateway to a larger narrative. The book traces how the religious order grew from 600 men in 1814 to roughly 17,000 men a century later. McGreevy argues that their odyssey of expulsion (by European nationalists worried about excessive Jesuit loyalty to the papacy) and reconstruction (as Jesuits launched a counterculture centered around parishes, schools, and universities) powerfully shaped modern history.
The seventh annual “Saturdays with the Saints” lecture series sponsored by the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame will feature seven saints whose lives give witness to the mercy of God.
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, was one of the nation’s most influential figures in higher education and national affairs and a well-known figure on campus. In the 1960s, a student named Robert Schmuhl, covering what Father Hesburgh called “the student revolution” for the Associated Press, began what would be a lifelong relationship with the president. Schmuhl, now the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at Notre Dame, is the author of Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record, released Aug. 25 by University of Notre Dame Press.
Thomas E. Burman, an esteemed scholar of medieval Christianity and Islam, has been named the Robert Conway Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Burman, currently a professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will begin his new role in January 2017.
Peter Casarella, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and interim director of Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC), is a scholar of Latino theology. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2013, he served as professor of Catholic studies at DePaul University where he was director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. In an interview, he discusses his research, Pope Francis, and the future of Latin American/North American Church Concerns, of which he is interim director.
The three-volume memoir of the University of Notre Dame’s president emeritus, Rev. Edward A.“Monk” Malloy, C.S.C., will be completed next month with the publication of Monk’s Tale: The Presidential Years: 1987-2005 by the University of Notre Dame Press.
The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame has named Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C., its assistant director of life sciences research and outreach. Ehrman will expand the center’s portfolio of life sciences research projects and oversee the center’s outreach efforts across campus and more broadly.
“I tend to gravitate towards doctrines that seem inexplicable, and I try to understand what motivated the early Christians to formulate these doctrines in just these ways,” said Khaled Anatolios, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. Anatolios specializes in the theology of the early Church. As a Byzantine Catholic priest, he has a special interest in the doctrines of the Greek fathers as well as complementary ideas between the Eastern and Western traditions. His current research focuses on the doctrine of salvation, particularly the disconnect between classical sources and modern experience.
Notre Dame and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, or Vatican Library, formalized a unique agreement of collaboration and exchange in a ceremony May 9 in the Hesburgh Room of the Morris Inn, where Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, together signed a memorandum of understanding.
Driven by a commitment to Catholic social teaching and a strong belief that a liberal arts education can transform lives, Notre Dame and Holy Cross College faculty are teaching college-level courses for inmates at Indiana's Westville Correctional Facility. Since 2013, nearly 100 inmates have earned college credit and 11 have earned associate degrees as of this month. But developing a strong foundation in reading, writing, research, public speaking, and critical thinking offers benefits that go far beyond the professional opportunities a degree might one day provide.
Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”) in Rome on April 8. The document addresses such areas of Catholic Church doctrine as the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacrament of the Eucharist, same-sex relationships and cohabitation, all issues that arose, often controversially, during the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October. Here is what some people on the Notre Dame faculty are saying and thinking about “Amoris Laetitia.”