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Catholic Studies Stands against Relativism, Pessimism, Fundamentalism, Says Author

by Kathryn Zagrobelny  |  published on November 4, 2014


“The project of Catholic studies,” wrote John Georke in a National Catholic Register article, “finds itself as a prophet among lions.” Written in response to the 20 Years of Catholic Studies Conference held earlier this year at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., Goerke’s article explains the nature and importance of Catholic studies.

Georke referred to a conference presentation by Father Paul Murray of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas which named relativism, pessimism, and fundamentalism as the modern-day “lions” against which Catholic studies stands; and discussed how the theological virtues can quell them. Georke related from Fr.Murray’s talk that, through faith, one is placed in front of truth and “sees himself in light of humility.” The hopeful man “sees all things wrong in the world in light of God’s ever present strength,” rather than falling into pessimism. And one who loves “sees himself and others in relation to the abundance of Christ’s caritas.”

The 20 Years of Catholic Studies Conference was hosted by the University of Mary last August. The event was designed to pay tribute to Dr. Don Briel, who, according to an article by George Weigel in First Things, “built the gold standard of Catholic Studies programs” during his time at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Weigel wrote about how Dr. Biel is joining the University of Mary as its first Blessed John Henry Newman Chair of Liberal Arts.

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