Jan. 10, 2011

Faculty Members to Discuss the Link between Faith and Intellect

"What Faith has to do with Intellectual Life," a roundtable discussion that is part of a series of events related to the inaugural year theme selected by President John Garvey, will take place Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 4:15 p.m. in Great Room B of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. Six CUA faculty members will talk about what faith means to them as teachers, researchers and scholars.

"I hope this roundtable will invite attendees to reflect on the important connections between faith and intellect," says Lucia A. Silecchia, professor of law at the Columbus School of Law and one of the roundtable panelists.

"It saddens me when I hear it said that deep faith and an inquisitive intellect are inherently in tension with each other. This roundtable discussion provides us the opportunity to explore how a happy marriage between faith and intellect can be enriching, honest, and joyful."

In addition to Silecchia, CUA faculty members serving as roundtable panelists are:

  • Monsignor Robert S. Sokolowski, Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy, who will also serve as the moderator
  • J. Steven Brown, associate professor of mechanical engineering
  • Joseph E. Capizzi, associate professor of theology and religious studies and area director of moral theology/ethics
  • Ann T. Cederna, associate dean for graduate studies and professor for the School of Architecture and Planning
  • Ernest Suarez, professor and chair of the Department of English

Each panelist will speak for 10 minutes followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer period. All members of the CUA community are welcome to attend this free program. A reception will follow for all attendees. An RSVP is encouraged to http://president.cua.edu/register.

Brown says he is looking forward to the discussion. "The question of what faith has to do with the intellectual life is one I have asked myself in slightly different forms many times over the years. I am excited to be able to address the question in this public forum," says Brown.

The faculty roundtable is being organized at the behest of President John Garvey who has selected the theme "Intellect and Virtue: The Idea of a Catholic University" as the theme of his inaugural address and his inaugural year. Garvey will offer welcoming remarks at the roundtable.

Silecchia says the discussion will have appeal to all members of the CUA community.

"As a university committed to intellectual pursuits, we have the privilege and responsibility of being the place where future leaders in so many different fields are prepared. But if those leaders have intelligence but lack virtue to motivate, guide and inspire them, they will likely do more harm than good. For that reason, exploration of the connections between intellect and virtue should be of interest to anyone and everyone who cares about our shared future," says Silecchia.

Added Brown, "I hope this roundtable will not close anything, but rather will be part of an ongoing dialogue this semester and in the years to come."

Read more about the faculty roundtable participants.


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