Erasmus conference begins today
By BASIL FARJO
Scholars from all over the U.S. and Europe will be coming to Notre Dame today and Thursday to discuss academic inquiry grounded in Catholic intellectual traditions at a conference sponsored by the Erasmus Institute.
The conference, which was scheduled to occur when the Main Building reopened, will consist of balanced presentations given by distinguished figures in higher education representing a variety of scholarly perspectives. All presentations will be followed by open discussion.
Organizers say the purpose of the conference is to examine non-theological issues in the context of Judeo-Christian thought.
"I'm interested in a variety of topics, from physics to international relations," said Father Bob Sullivan, co-director of the Erasmus Institute, on the range of areas that can be discussed in the context of Christian intellectual tradition.
"There are ideas that might arise from Christianity that are there," he said. "When those intellectual traditions are present, they can be engaged in conversation ... We can recognize their intellectual value."
The intended audience is academics, educational administrators, and anyone interested in the topics under discussion. It is open to the public and will be attended by many individuals who have come to Notre Dame from various universities in the U.S. and Europe.
The conference will aim to examine, deepen and extend recent efforts to consider possible new relationships between Catholic intellectual traditions and the dominant secular culture of higher education, organizers say.
All of the presentations will be given in the McKenna Hall Auditorium starting on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The conference begins with a welcome by University provost Nathan Hatch and James Turner, director of the Erasmus Institute center at Notre Dame.
One highlight, Sullivan said, would be a lecture on the intersection of sociology and Catholic social teaching. It will be given by Alan Wolfe, a professor of political science at Boston College, and is Sullivan said he expects it to illuminate the topic in a way that is important to both Catholic and secular thinkers.
All News Stories for Wednesday, October 13, 1999