International Institute for Culture

 
 

Communitas: The Restoration of Christian Community in an Age of Alienation


Individuals are naturally social and cultural beings who exist in various communities (i.e. families, neighborhoods, parishes, political organizations and other voluntary associations). These communities help form and frame the character of individuals through the process of "enculturation," which is the transmission from one generation to the next of a people's common cultural inheritance. Since these communities act as mediating institutions between the individual
 
and overarching political structures, it is essential to understand the natural and historic role which they play in preserving faith and true freedom and the factors which undermine their influence in the lives of individuals.This series will seek to investigate the true nature of community in its relation to the embodied faith of a people, with its ultimate reference revealed in the doctrine of the Trinity and the communion of saints. Ideological and historical trends such as individualism, collectivism, materialism, the fragmentation of formal unities in art, and the effect of the segregated contemporary built architectural environment will be considered in light of their corrosive effects on such traditional communities. The tradition of Catholic social thought, which offers clear analyses of man's social nature from a Christian perspective and principles which can assist in the revitalization of Christian communities, will be examined.
 

The Church, the Person and the Common Good:
Reflections on Catholic Social Thought

DATE: January 26th
 
Time: 11:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church
12:00 noon. Brunch at Ivy Hall
1:00 p.m. Lecture
 
Speaker: Sister Margaret John Kelly, Ph.D., Executive Fdirector of Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John's University, Long Island.
 
Topic: The Church, the Person and the Common Good: Reflections on Catholic Social Thought
 
Cost: $20/person, $35/couple for Brunch & Lecture; $10/person for Lecture alone
 
From the landmark encyclical Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII to the powerful pronouncements of John Paul II in Centessimus Annus and Evangelium Vitae, the Church's social thought has sought to clarify principles upon which a just society ought to be based while offering insightful critiques of the age. This thought is based on Christian revelation and perennial philosophy in relation to its social dimension. It is, in fact, a more scientific elaboration of Christian teaching in relation to man's social life founded upon the Gospel and Christian anthropology which finds its ultimate source in the Trinitarian life of God. Sr. Margaret John Kelly will introduce and elucidate this rich intellectual legacy and it pertinence for our day.
 
Sr. Margaret John Kelly is a Daughter of Charity and Executive Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John's University, Long Island. She was recently chosen by Pope John Paul II to receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal, awarded for notable accomplishments on behalf of the Church and for personal character and reputation. A native of Strafford, PA, Sister Margaret John has held teaching and administrative positions at St. John's University in New York, Mount Saint Mary's College and
St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland and Laboure College in Boston, where from 1973 to 1980 she served as President. Sister Margaret John pioneered the work of Mission Services at the Catholic Health Association of the United States from 1980-1984 as she coordinated national activities in Catholic identity, pastoral care, ethics, and religious sponsorship of health care facilities.
 
She has served on the Provincial Council of the Daughters of Charity, Northeast Province; as Provincial Superior of the Northeast Province of the Daughters of Charity; and as a Special Assistant to the President and as Interim Dean of St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. John's University. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society that was initiated in 1994 to support the Vincentian character and Catholic identity of the University. She has written and lectured extensively in the areas of management, leadership, trusteeship, education, and health care.
 
Suggested reading list:
 
  • Pope John Paul II's encyclicals, especially Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 1988 and Evangelium Vitae-1995
  • Himes, Kenneth, OFM. Responses to 101 Questions on Catholic Social Teaching (Paulist Press, 2001)
  • Kammer,Fred.S.J. Doing Faith Justice: An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought (Paulist Press, 1991)
  • Massaro, Thomas, S.J. Living Justice (Sheed and Ward, 2000)
     

The Individual, Community, and Globalization: What is the Role of Religion?

DATE: February 23rd
 
Time: 11:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church - IIC Choir will sing at this Mass
12:00 noon. Brunch at Ivy Hall
1:00 p.m. Lecture
 
Speaker: Dr. James Kurth, Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College
Topic: The Individual, Community, and Globalization: What is the Role of Religion?
Cost: $20/person, $35/couple for Brunch & Lecture; $10/person for Lecture alone
 
Globalization is the secular ideology and world revolution of the new information age. Like the secular idologies of liberalsim, socialism, and nationalism of the earlier industrial age, globalization has assaulted communities and individuals whose identities are based upon Christian principles and practices. This new global ideology and its world revolution, however, is producing new opportunities for the world religions and for their conceptions of community and the individual. In the midst of this great conflict of worldviews in the 21st century, an essentail guide will be the teachings of Catholic social thought.
 
Dr. James Kurth is the Claude Smith Professor of Poltical Science at Swarthmore College, where he teaches international politics, foreign policy, and defense policy. He received his A.B. in History from Stanford University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, and taught at Harvard as an assistant and as an associate professor of government. He has also been a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ),
visiting professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego, and visiting professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College.
 
Professor Kurth is the author of some 80 professional articles and editor of two professional volumes in the fields of international politics, foreign policy, and the politics of Western nations. His recent publications have focused upon the interrelations between the global economy, post-modern society, liberal ideology, and cultural conflicts. In 1998, he delivered the Templeton Lecture on "Religion and Globalization."
 
Suggested reading list:
 
  • Papal encyclicals of John Paul II: Centessimus Annus (1991) and Evanglium Vitae (1995)
  • Samula P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996)
  • James Kurth, "War, Peace, and the Ideologies of the Twentieth Century," Current History, January 1999, pp. 3-8.
  • James Kurth, "Religion and Globalization," Foreign Policy Research Institute Wire, May 1999.
  • James Kurth, "Confronting the Unipolar Moment: The American Empire and Islamic Terrorism," Current History, December 2002, pp. 403-408.
     
Read Dr. Kurth's article, Religion and Globalization
Read America versus the West?
Hear his lecture on Conflicts in Liberalism and Security Issues
 
read more about the "Communitas: The Restoration of Christian Community in an Age of Alienation" lecture series

The Liturgical Year and the Community of the Faithful

DATE: April 27, 2003
 
Time: 11:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church
12:00 noon. Brunch at Ivy Hall
1:00 p.m. Lecture
 
Speaker: Dr. Evelyn Birge Vitz, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, New York University and author of A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year.
 
Cost: $20/person, $35/couple for Brunch & Lecture; $10/person for Lecture alone
Our participation in the liturgical year brings our lives as Catholic Christians into community with three groups:
 
1) the community of fellow Catholics across the country and throughout the world,
2) the community of fellow Catholics through the centuries, and
3) the members of the Church Triumphant in heaven.
 
In this lecture, Dr. Vitz will discuss the basic structures and rhythms of the liturgical year and show how it emphasizes both change and eternity. She will discuss the construction of the Christian year over the centuries, from the very earliest centuries of the Christian year. She will quote some of the many Fathers of the Church --and women writers as well–who spoke of it and praised it. She will also show how we can draw on its strengths and beauty, and live it more fully today.
 
Dr. Evelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, received her BA from Smith College and her PhD in French from Yale University. Since 1968 she has taught at New York University, where she is Professor of French, and Affiliated Professor of Religious Studies and Comparative Literature. She is a specialist in the literature and culture of the Middle Ages. For many years she directed the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at NYU. Aside from her cookbook A CONTINUAL FEAST, she has published several books and many articles on medieval literature, in particular on saints lives and the liturgy.
 
She and her husband Paul C. Vitz are both converts to Catholicism, having come into the church together in 1979. Mrs. Vitz has written for MAGNIFICAT and CRISIS, and has given many talks on Christianity, family life, the combining of career and family, and others. The Vitzes have six children and two grandchildren (also two dogs) and live in New York's Greenwich Village.
 
read more about the "Communitas: The Restoration of Christian Community in an Age of Alienation" lecture series

Latin Lives at Ivy Hall
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The IIC offers Latin classes throughout the year in the evening on Wednesdays, as well as full-time summer intensive courses. For more information, click here to contact the Institute.



Saturday, September 30
16TH ANNUAL OKTOBERFEST AT IVY HALL!

 
Saturday, October 7
An Evening with G.K. Chesterton at Ivy Hall

 
Sunday, October 8
"The Unity of Ascent: Musical Supplication and Redemption in Early Modern Venice"

 







 
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