2013–14 Bannan Institute


Bannan Institutes are yearlong thematic programs that address matters of significance within the Jesuit, Catholic intellectual tradition, foster an ethic of dialogue among persons of diverse religious and philosophical commitments, and facilitate opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange across the University and broader community.

The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education sponsors the Bannan Institutes through the generosity of the Bannan family endowment.  

The 2013–14 Bannan Institute: What Good Is God? Overview

In an age in which religion is associated as much with violence as benevolence, where propositions of faith are often framed as oppositional to modern science, and one-fifth of all Americans self-identify as “none of the above” with regard to religion, the 2013-2014 Bannan Institute will publicly engage one the most significant questions of our time: What Good Is God?

Through a series of lectures and facilitated dialogues with scientists, philosophers, literary scholars, engineers, theologians, poets, artists, and educators, the 2013-2014 Bannan Institute will explore the significance of secular and religious culture in civil society (fall quarter); engage the questions and resources of emergent scientific, technological, and religious paradigms (winter quarter); and consider the nature and role of religion within higher education (spring quarter).

Fall Quarter 2013: God and Culture
Secular and the Religious Good in Civil Society

The first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America prohibits any law respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free exercise of religion.  And yet, American civil society is saturated with anti-religious and religious sensibilities that often frame religious and secular goods as mutually subjugating.  This quarter’s lecture series will attempt to disrupt this polarizing frame.

Winter Quarter 2014: God and Reality
Emergent Scientific, Technological, and Religious Paradigms

Page 9-Right photoWhile scientific advancements and technological innovations are often characterized as oppositional to religious faith and practice, the reality is more complex.  This quarter’s lecture series and symposium will explore emerging dialogues among scientific, technological, and religious frames of knowledge and truth. 

Spring Quarter 2014: God and the University
Religion in Higher Education

Early universities within the United States were largely established to advance the ideals of liberal education within a religious moral framework.  In the last century, however, the academy has become widely ambivalent about the place of "God" in the broader discourse of a university. This quarter's lecture series will ask why, as we consider the role of religion within higher education in the United States.

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