March 28, 2011

CUA to Host Symposium on the Interplay of Virtue and Intellect

Next month scholars from the U.S. and abroad will gather at The Catholic University of America to examine the ways in which virtue shapes how and what people learn.

The two-day symposium, which begins April 11, will include experts in such fields as economics, sociology, political science, law, and philosophy from Duke, University of Notre Dame, St. Andrew's in Scotland and others. The opening remarks will be delivered by the bishop who is in charge of the committee on Catholic Education for the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference.

The symposium is being sponsored by CUA as part of a series of events related to President John Garvey's inaugural theme "Intellect and Virtue: The Idea of a Catholic University."

"This semester at Catholic University we have been hosting a series of 20 events centered on how intellect and virtue inspire the life of Catholic institutions of higher learning," said Garvey. "The intentional focus on this topic by a number of distinguished speakers has enriched our campus community. This two-day symposium will be the capstone of these important discussions."

The April 11-12 symposium topics include: Virtue and Intellect at Catholic Universities Today, Virtue and the Intellectual Life, Virtue and Faith Life and Virtue and Campus Life (Click here to view the full program and speaker bios).

Speakers will include:

  • Most Rev. Thomas J. Curry, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education
  • John Rist, professor emeritus of classics and philosophy, University of Toronto, and visiting professor at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum
  • John Haldane, director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland
  • Christopher Kaczor, professor of philosophy in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University
  • Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School
  • Joseph Kaboski, David F. and Erin M. Seng Foundation Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame
  • Helen M. Alvaré, associate professor of law at George Mason University
  • W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, and a member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University

A number of other scholars will serve as respondents to the main speakers, including one each from the Catholic University of Ukraine and the Catholic University of South Korea.

President Garvey established an advisory committee of 10 presidents of Catholic colleges in the United States and abroad last fall to assist him in planning the symposium. They are:

  • John J. DeGioia, Georgetown University
  • Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University
  • Sister Margaret Fitzpatrick, S.C., St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Rev. Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Catholic University
  • Rev. Terence Henry, T.O.R., Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame
  • Thomas Keefe, University of Dallas
  • Rev. William Leahy, S.J., Boston College
  • Rev. Johan Yeong-Sik Pahk, Catholic University of Korea
  • Rev. Brian Shanley, O.P., Providence College

The event will conclude on Tuesday with a roundtable discussion featuring presidents from Catholic Universities from around the world. More than half of the members of the president's advisory committee are scheduled to participate in the roundtable.

At the conclusion of the first day's program participants will be invited to a 5:10 p.m. Mass in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, will deliver the homily.

The symposium will be open to the public. It may be of particular interest not only to scholars in a variety of disciplines but also to professional staff working in student life and campus ministry. There is no registration fee; however, seating is limited. Attendees must pre-register by April 5 at


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