Non-Credit Courses

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. 

APPLY HERE

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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.

  • In order to receive the $350 stipend, students must participate fully in all seminar activities and complete a survey at the end of the seminar.

 

APPLICATION INFORMATION

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

  • Applicants must submit an online application, including details on their course of study, a statement of interest, and a letter of recommendation (optional).

  • For full consideration, apply by April 15. After April 15, applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

  • 15 applicants will be admitted to the seminar. 

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”

PAST OFFERINGS - SPRING 2022

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. 

Session 1: What part of human behavior does Economics describe? What can a Thomistic anthropology contribute to that description?

 

Session 2. What are the principles of economic justice?

 

Information and Registration contact Ryan Zoellner rzoellner@harvardcatholic.org

Mary Hirschfeld is Associate Professor of Economics and Theology at Villanova University. Her work focuses on the boundary between economics and theology, specifically by developing an approach to economics that is grounded in the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas, with applications to consumption economics, economic justice, the common good, the nature of practical reason, and economic methodology. She received a PhD in economics from Harvard and a PhD in theology from Notre Dame. was published by Harvard University Press in 2018.

 

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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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”

LANGUAGE WORKSHOPS

SEPTEMBER 2021 - MAY 2022

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Christian Latin

1st and 3rd Mondays, beginning September 20, 2021

7:00 - 8:00 PM. 

 

Free and open to all, on Zoom.

 

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 will teach this group. Texts and learning materials will be distributed or are available online.

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New Testament Greek

1st and 3rd Tuesdays, beginning September 21, 2021

 

7:00 - 8:00 PM.

 

Free and open to all, on Zoom, possibly with an in-person component.

 

This year: selections from the Gospel of St. Luke. Some Greek language review is included, but the focus is on reading and translation of the text, with particular attention to passages without counterparts in the other Gospels. 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 more information or to register, contact Mike O'Brien at mcsamicus@gmail.com or by phone at 617-721-9559.