Thursday, October 1, 2009

On faith and reason

It’s been a busy week!

Tuesday night I had the privilege of attending a lecture in the Catholic Culture Lecture Series, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Culture. The series of four weekly lectures is titled “Close to Catholic: A Celebration of Kindred Spirits,” and this week Professor Ann Astell of the theology department lectured on Simone Weil, a French mystic. The other authors highlighted in the series are T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I love the series and hope to attend every one of the lectures. I also ended up writing an article about the lecture for The Observer, which made my evening a little more hectic as I frantically pounded out a story at 10 pm in the Coleman-Morse computer cluster! It was worth it, though, to spread word about these wonderful lectures.

The Center for Ethics and Culture is one of my favorite things at Notre Dame. As a literature fanatic, I love that they celebrate brilliant Catholic authors like Evelyn Waugh, Flannery O’Connor, and G.K. Chesterton. I love the way the center merges our intellectual heritage with our Catholic belief, showing how compatible they truly are. That’s the gift of Notre Dame; unlike at any other premier university, at Notre Dame faith and intellect not only co-exist but actually enrich each other.

How has your Notre Dame education enriched your faith? How have your beliefs contributed to your intellectual interests?

Post-edit: I wrote an article for The Observer about the Catholic Culture Lecture series if you'd like to check it out here.


  1. The philosophy/theology combination does a good job of making a young ND student consider their faith intellectually, and then reaffirming it. I've seen many a student (me, my son, friends at ND) hit a moment of doubt after the philosophy classes, and then collect information from sources (from me, from Monk, from their teacher or pastor) and then gain a deeper understanding of their faith. They come out of it with a more intelligent and informed faith. ND has all the components needed to make that journey.

    I'll bet you know someone who went through that process.

  2. I loved the dorm chapels. Sorin didn't have a kitchen then, but we did have Food Sales!!

    But the Sorin chapel was a place for intelligent homilies (relative to churches back at home), and brotherly worship. I felt more of a community at these small masses than the city-wide community of the church at home. Maybe it's my issue that I didn't feel the same community at other churches, but I got more out of sharing mass with fellow Screamin' Otters.

  3. Thanks for sharing your stories! There's definitely something special about the Notre Dame experience. What do you think contributes to that?