Non-Credit Courses

Fall with the Fathers

Fall Term, Six Fridays, Beginning September 16

12:00-1:15 PM 

Professor Christopher McLaughlin

For current undergraduate or graduate students at Harvard or other area institutionsIn "Fall with the Fathers," we will study and discuss patristic accounts of redemption and soteriology through the writings of some of the most important and profound authors of the early church, such as Irenaeus, Athanasius, and Augustine. This course asks: From what or whom are we saved? How? And to what end?

 

Lunch will be served at each meeting. 

Registration

Questions? Contact Kate Jackson Meyer, 

kjackson-meyer@harvardcatholic.org 

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neuroscience and the SOul

Fall Term, Second and Fourth Saturdays, 3:45-4:45PM

Begins September 10

Professor Sarah Byers

For current undergraduate or graduate students at Harvard or other area institutionsThis course explores contemporary case studies regarding brain functioning and brain damage, with a special focus on how specifically human traits traditionally attributed to the soul such as personality, abstract thinking, and moral decision-making depend upon or involve the brain. The course analyzes this further by turning to complementary readings from the Catholic intellectual tradition that address the mind or the soul as the seat of some of these activities. In this way, the course integrates both fields through rigorous dialogue. 

 

Readings in-meeting (no preparation required). Participants are invited, but not required, to stay for the 5:00 Mass at St. Paul’s and an optional dinner out in Harvard Square if available.

Registration

Questions? Contact Kate Jackson Meyer, 

kjackson-meyer@harvardcatholic.org 

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This is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide”

Reading Group: Charles Taylor's 
SEcular Age

Fall Term, Weekly Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30PM,

Begins September 19

Kasey Kimball, Harvard Catholic Forum Graduate Student Fellow

For current undergraduate or graduate students at Harvard or other area institutionsIn this reading group, we will explore Charles Taylor's account of the transition the West has undergone from being a world in which it was virtually impossible not to have religious faith, to one in which religious faith is but one choice among many, and one increasingly difficult to make. We will begin with How (Not) To Be Secular (James K.A. Smith's primer on Taylor) before continuing on to selections of A Secular Age itself.

 

A casual dinner will be served at each meeting. Books will be purchased for all participants. 

Registration

Questions? Contact Kate Jackson Meyer, 

kjackson-meyer@harvardcatholic.org 

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This is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide”

LANGUAGE WORKSHOPS

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Weekly Wednesdays

Begins September 7, 2022

 

7:00 - 8:00 PM

St. Paul's Harvard Square

 

Hosted by Joost Botman

 

An introductory course in Ecclesiastical Latin aimed at those who wish to read and understand the Missal, the Breviary, and the Vulgate Bible in Latin. We will be using Scanlon's "Latin Grammar for the Reading of the Missal and the Breviary" as our textbook, and a certificate of completion will be provided to students who obtain a passing mark in the optional final exam. Those with little to no prior experience of Latin will benefit most from the course, but participants of all skill levels are more than welcome to enroll. Students will be invited to a closing reception at the end of the semester. Books will be purchased for all participants.

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1st and 3rd Mondays,

Begins September 19, 2022

 

7:00 - 8:00 PM

Zoom

Hosted by Mike O'Brien &

Christopher McLaughlin

 

This course will survey inspiring examples of Christian prose and poetry spanning over a millennium - from the Roman Empire through the Medieval era - in the original Latin. We will read excerpts from the Confessions of St. Augustine, St. Jerome’s Vulgate Bible, works by Sts. Bonaventure and Bernard of Clairvaux and a variety of poems and hymns, among other works. Some language review is included, but the focus is on reading and translation of the texts. Participants should have completed and have some recollection of a year or more of Latin. Classical languages instructor Michael O'Brien and Christopher McLaughlin will teach this group. Texts and learning materials will be distributed or are available online.

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1st and 3rd Tuesdays,

Begins September 20, 2022

 

7:00 - 8:00 PM

Zoom 

Hosted by Mike O'Brien &

Tim O'Donnell

 

This course will read selections from Acts of the Apostles. Some Greek language review is included, but the focus is on reading and translation of the text. Participants should have completed a year of either New Testament or Classical Greek. Teachers are Classical languages instructor Michael O'Brien and Deacon Tim O'Donnell. There is no charge, and texts and learning materials will be distributed or are available online.

For all Language Workshop questions contact Kate Jackson-Meyer, 

kjackson-meyer@harvardcatholic.org

PAST OFFERINGS - 2022

Modern Science and Christian Faith
Seminar for Graduate Students

July 3-9, 2022 

Harvard University, Cambridge MA  

Professors Steven M. Barr & Marie I. George

The goal of this seminar is to provide students with the background knowledge and conceptual tools necessary to understand and think clearly about the relation of science and faith. This will help them to integrate scientific and theological ways of understanding in their own thinking, and make it possible for them to help others (including their future colleagues and students) to achieve such integration. The overarching goal is to help develop a cadre of people with a broad and informed understanding of these issues who can be the nucleus from which wider outreach efforts might grow.

 

Among the topics discussed will be the historical relationship of the Church and science; the relation of faith and reason; evidence for God in the existence and order of the cosmos; God and nature; primary and secondary causality; the supernatural and miracles; modern physics and natural theology; creation and providence; the beginning of the universe and modern cosmology; God and time; human origins and human distinctiveness; rationality, freedom, and the soul; physicalist reductionism and the human mind; Genesis and scriptural interpretation; biological evolution; biology and human nature; and the Fall, original sin and concupiscence. 

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LOCATION AND FORMAT

  • The seminar will take place at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Admitted students will be required to arrange their own travel to and from the seminar.

  • Admitted students will be granted a stipend of $350 to offset travel costs in addition to having their lodging and meals covered for the duration of the seminar.

  • Participants will arrive In Cambridge, MA on Sunday, July 3 and depart on Saturday, July 9. The seminar will take place from Monday to Friday, with a lecture and discussion session each morning and afternoon.

  • Participants will be required to read the assigned materials in preparation for the seminar.

  • Open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields, medicine, the history of science, philosophy, theology, and relevant fields.

This course is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide”

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Economic Methods, Christian Anthropology, and the Principles of Justice 

 

Friday, April 22, 2:00-5:15 PM

St. Paul Campus, Harvard Square

29 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge

Professor Mary Hirschfeld, Villanova University

For graduate students at Harvard or other area institutions, especially in the social sciences, public policy, business, philosophy and theology. Enrollment limited to 15.

 

This full-afternoon Master Class combines presentations with seminar discussion at the intersection of the discipline of Economics and the Catholic tradition’s philosophical and theological account of the human person. Two sessions followed by an informal reception. 

This is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide”

Contemporary Science and Philosophical Theology

Spring Term, 2nd and 4th Saturdays, Beginning January 29

3:45-4:45PM 

Professor Sarah Byers

For current undergraduate or graduate students at Harvard or other area institutions. This study group examines important data and theories from the sciences, relating them to the Catholic intellectual tradition.  It focuses on three main areas: the origin of the universe; the evolution of the universe and its contents; the origin and unique characteristics of human persons. 

No advance preparation required: We will read through short texts provided at each meeting and discuss them immediately.  Texts include selections from contemporary science articles, writings of the Doctors of the Church, and documents from the Catholic magisterium. Participants are invited to 5:00 Mass at St. Paul’s and dinner out in Harvard Square if available.

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Sarah Byers is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. She received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. She specializes in Greco-Roman philosophy and its reception in the later history of philosophy, with a particular interest in metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology.  She has published a book on Augustine’s moral psychology with Cambridge University Press, as well as numerous articles. 

​Registration information contact Ryan Zoellner rzoellner@harvardcatholic.org  

This course is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide”

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Book Discussion:
Alasdair Macintyre's After Virtue

 

Spring Term, Five Wednesday Evenings, Beginning February 9, 2022 

7:00-8:30 pm 

In person, in Cambridge

For current undergraduate or graduate students at Harvard or other area institutions. An opportunity to read or re-read and discuss with peers this pivotal work about the challenges posed by modern philosophy to moral reasoning and the good life.  

 

Group size limited to 12. Sponsored and lead by the Graduate Student Fellows of the Harvard Catholic Forum.

 

For more information or to register, contact Shani Agarwal, iagarwal@hds.harvard.edu.

This is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide”