Spring 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.

The Fragility of Faith

How Can a Thinking Person Still Believe in God?

by Michael McCarthy, S.J. |

April 15, 2014 | 4 – 5:15 p.m.  

St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons | MAP

Good people of many persuasions wonder how a thinking person can still believe in God. Still others wonder whether a university, as an academic institution, is a place where "God" should be openly discussed at all. Often enough, such questions make presumptions about faith that are frequently untrue. Attention to the real fragility of faith can open spaces for different kinds of discussions entirely.

Michael McCarthy, S.J. began his undergraduate career at Stanford University but then entered the Jesuits and received his B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1987, attended Oxford University to complete the 4-year M.A. in Literae Humaniores, received a Master's in Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1997, and earned his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2003. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Santa Clara University's Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. Fr. McCarthy holds the Edmund Campion, S.J. Professor endowed chair. He is also an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Religious Studies and Classics Departments as well as the Director of the Catholic Studies Program. His research focuses primarily on Early Christianity, including the concept of church in ancient Christianity, early biblical exegesis, Augustine, religious authority/belief in fourth and fifth centuries, early asceticism/spirituality.

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