The year 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of the Encyclical 'Populorum Progressio' and the theme of the Keynote Lectures was CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING. The Keynote Speakers were:
Mr Francis Campbell
(H.M. Ambassador to the Holy See)
'Catholic Social Teaching and Contemporary Diplomacy'
Mr Francis Davis
(Von Huegel Institute, St Edmund's College, Cambridge)
'Universal Charity - Eucharist and the New Migration'
Mr John Joseet
(Bishops' Conference of England & Wales)
'Refugees: A challenge to solidarity and the Common Good'
Series A Lecture Options
A1. ‘Introduction to Theology’
In this introduction to Theology, we will consider the fundamental mysteries of our faith. Theology is born from faith; from our encounter with Jesus Christ. It is from this loving encounter that our desire grows to know more; to give reasons for our hope (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). The Gospel of John speaks of Jesus Christ as the Word made flesh who made his dwelling amongst us (Jn 1:14): how are we to understand this? Our journey will begin by looking at the Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church to see what they tell us about the person of Christ – true God and true man – who comes to reveal to us that God is love (1 Jn 4:16). God is love because He is a communion of persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As such our course will consider some important aspects of Christology as well as Trinitarian Theology. One of the major aims of this course is to show how these mysteries are not abstract notions to think about, on the contrary, they are at the very heart of our Christian life, of the lives of those whom God calls his children. God created us out of love precisely to share in his very own life. Our starting point is believing so as to understand, and as we deepen our understanding this too can help us to believe and to reflect what we believe in our daily lives and commitment to follow Christ.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church – Compendium (available from CTS - price £6:95
- Dogmatic constitution on divine revelation – Dei Verbum*
*Can be downloaded from the web site of the Holy See:
David Charters is a seminatian of the Diocese of Shrewsbury and student of the Venerabile English Collese. He was born in Birkenhead and read French at the University of Wales, Bangor. After working as a teacher and spending some years in a small community in France, he entered seminary. He is now in his sixth year in Rome and having completed degrees in Philosophy and Theology, he is studying for a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. (He was ordained deacon in July 2007).
A2. ‘What exactly is the Good News, and how good is it?’
Gerry O’Mahoney SJ
The Good News is exceedingly good news
Up till very recent times the “good news” was reduced by teachers and preachers to “good news for those who behave themselves,” rather than “good news for sinners.” We will study the Gospels from the starting point of “love with no conditions,” to understand better the divine paradox.
The basis of all Catholic social teaching has to be the key message of Jesus Christ: the Good News, the Gospel. We are to treat one another as sisters and brothers because we are all equally children of God. To despise or neglect another son or daughter of God is in fact to despise and negate our own status as son or daughter. The course will consider some of the hundred or more different ways in which Jesus sees us as his sisters and brothers, children of God whose love and forgiveness is unconditional. How does this lead to a zeal greater than the zeal of those who work under duress or fear of punishment? If God will forgive us anyway, why then do we try all the harder?
- Those taking part will need their own familiar New Testament text
- O’Mahony, Gerald: 100 Ways to hear Good News, Kevin Mayhew 2000
- O'Mahony, Gerald: The Two-Edged Gospel, Gracewing 2004
- O'Mahony, Gerald: Seventy times Seven: the gift of forgiveness, Loyola Hall 2005
- Jeremias, Joachim: The Central Message of the New Testament, SCM 1965
Gerald O’Mahony SJ is a writer and retreat giver, Loyola Hall, Liverpool.
A3. ‘Catholic Social Teaching and the Environment’
Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam SDB
This course examines the response of the Church to the current ecological crisis which threatens the capacity of the Earth to be a ‘home’ (oikos) any longer to all living beings. While unearthing its underlying causes concrete ways will also be explored to walk more gently and humbly on the Earth.
1. The Current Ecological Crisis: its local and global facets
- the spread of the ‘ecological consciousness’
- the ecological crisis as a triple cry of the earth, of the poor and of the gods
2. The Roots of the Ecological Crisis
- the philosophical and ideological roots
- the religious and ethical roots
3. Responding to the crisis
- the magisterium of the universal Church after Vatican II
- directives from Bishops’ Conferences (special reference to England & Wales)
- signs of hope: the wide array of grass root movements in the local churches
- Basney, Lionel. An Earth-Careful Way of Life: Christian Stewardship and the
Environmental Crisis. Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 2000.
- LaChance, Albert J. Greenspirit: Twelve Steps in Ecological Spirituality – An
Individual, Cultural and Planetary Therapy. Rockport, MA – Shaftesbury, Dorset – Element Books, 1991.
- Lovelock, James E. The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity. London: Allen Lane, 2006.
- McDonagh, Sean. The Greening of the Church. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books,
- Tucker, Mary Evelyn – Grim, John A. (eds.). Worldviews and Ecology: Religion,
Philosophy and the Environment. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2000.
Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam (Josh) teaches environmental philosophy at Salesian Pontifical University in Rome
A4. ‘Ethics and Justice’
Helen Costigane SHCJ
This course will look at some contemporary ethical issues, focussing on the ethical and justice aspects of each. Topics that will be considered are violence and war, prejudice and conflict, caring for the planet, corporate governance, ‘genetic orphans’ and ‘the seamless robe of life’. The class will take the form of lectures, using relevant clips from films, case studies, small group discussions and time for questions. No prior knowledge needed or assumed.
- Peter Vardy, The Puzzle of Ethics, Fount, 1999
- Bob Bowie, Ethical Studies, Nelson Thornes, 2004
- Robin Gill, Textbook of Christian Ethics, Continuum, 2004
Helen Costigane SHCJ teaches Christian Ethics at Heythrop College, London
A5. ‘The Letter of Paul to the Galatians’
Peter Edmonds SJ
St Paul was a pastor who approached pastoral problems through ‘living theology’. In his Letter to the Galatians, we learn about the life of Paul and his transformation from a persecutor of the Church to Apostle to the Gentiles. We hear about his dispute with Peter and the profound theological issues underlying it. We are given a vision of what ‘faith working through love’ might mean in our own daily lives. This course is commended as a sequel to last year’s course on the Acts of the Apostles, but it will also be suitable for beginners in New Testament and Pauline studies. Discussion will be welcomed.
‘Paul’s to the Galatian Christians teems with impassioned fervour unequalled in any other Pauline letter’ (B. Longenecker). Paul is under attack because of his claim to be an apostle and because of his missionary methods. He was accused of preaching a ‘soft’ Christianity. He responds to the charges against him by appealing to his personal history and God’s own dealings with him. He argues for the justice of his methods by rigorous, but comprehensible theology. He concludes with a deeply spiritual discussion of what Christian life should mean in practice in the hostile pagan world of his time. Paul’s struggles in Galatia and his self defence have much to offer today.
The six chapters of the letter fall easily into three sections which can be headed ‘history’, ‘theology’ and ‘ethics’. This course is commended as a sequel to last year’s course on the Acts of the Apostles; it will also be suitable for beginners in New Testament and Pauline studies. Discussion will be welcomed.
Participants are recommended to have read through the six chapters of the Letter beforehand.
Recommended reading includes:
- C.K. Barrett, Freedom and Obligation, SPCK 1985
- F.J. Matera, Galatians, (Sacra Pagina 9), Collegeville 1992
After teaching the New Testament in Zimbabwe and Kenya, Peter Edmonds is a Jesuit based at Campion Hall, Oxford. This year will be his fourth at Ushaw ‘Living Theology’
A6. ‘Faith and Technology’
This course explores the role of the Internet in theology and faith education. Using lecture, seminar and virtual learning environment, it considers challenges and potentialities of digital culture and reflects how the Internet might engage technology and theology within the faith community. No previous subject knowledge or IT skills are required.
The course considers sociological and philosophical aspects of technology and the Internet including an historical overview, digital change and innovation, the nature of virtual reality, online autonomy and populism, and virtual social presence as well as the educational impact of new technologies. It then explores issues surrounding Church, culture and technology and asks how the Internet and related technologies might impact on the enterprise of theology and faith communication and development. Seeking to positively engage theology with technology, the course addresses key challenges and perceptions as well as investigating potential new metaphors for virtual theology. Specific issues relating to online authority and Revelation and the virtual faith community are considered. The course combines lecture presentation and seminar discussion with use of selected websites and demonstration of online adult faith education.
- Inter Mirifica, Decree of Second Vatican Council, December 1963 and On the Rapid Development of Communications, Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II, Catholic Truth Society 2005. ISBN 1860823106
- Beckerlegge, G. ed. From Sacred Text to Internet. Ashgate 2002. ISBN 0754608166
- rtner, R. Communication, Media and Identity: A Christian Theory of Communication. Rowman & Littlefield 2006. ISBN 0742551954
- Graham, G. The Internet: A Philosophical Inquiry. Routledge 1999. ISBN 041519749
- O’Donnell, J. Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace. Harvard University Press 2000. ISBN 067400194
Ros Stuart-Buttle teaches at Ushaw College, leading a growing programme of online theology and undertaking doctoral research into adult theological education and new learning technologies.
Series B Lecture Options
B1. ‘Liturgy and Ethics’
Mary Ann Clarahan RSM
1. Title of course: How does Christian Worship inform ethical living?
This course will explore the divine ethos and human pathos implicit in Christian worship. Through the lens of the Church’s public worship – sacraments, Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours – we will examine how liturgical celebration forms and transforms human lives for ethical living in response to God’s self-giving love, and in relationship to all of creation. The class style will be a combination of lecture and discussion.
The course will treat of the following themes:
Christian Worship: the Language of God’s Self-Giving Love
Mediation of Christian Identity: the inter-relationship of scripture proclaimed, sacraments celebrated, and ethical living
Eucharist as a “school of peace”: solidarity with all creation
Sacraments: Human Pathos and Divine Ethos
Liturgy and the Environment
Rehearsing the Reign of God by building just communities
- John Paul II. Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2004
- Chauvet, Louis-Marie. The Sacraments: The Word of God at the Mercy of the Body. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2001.
- Saliers, on “Human Pathos and Divine Ethos,” in Primary Sources of Liturgical Theology: a Reader, ed. Dwight Vogel. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2000: p. 276-283.
- Koesters, Anne Y. (ed.). Liturgy and Justice: To Worship God in Spirit and Truth. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2002.
Mary Ann Clarahan, Sister of Mercy from USA, teaching liturgy and sacraments at several pontifical universities in Rome as well as ministering as the Director of Liturgy at the American parish of Rome, Santa Susanna.
B2. ‘Non-violence: Facing the Challenge’
Billy Hewett SJ
How do we discern the presence of violence and respond to it appropriately? This course addresses this challenge from the perspective of scripture, theology, history, literature and society, focussing in particular on the insights of Ignatian spirituality and Girard. Classes are participative, but no previous knowledge is required.
A wide ranging practical response to the peremptory problems of violence. We use Ignatian type exercises, Girardian hermeneutics, De Mello's centring techniques, Progoff's journaling principles. The pattern of each day's presentation will consist of input from leader, exercise, discernment, discussion, application, leading to potential action. The balance of these elements will be carefully organised by the leader so that no one element will have a disproportionate dominance. No previous experience of any sort is required, although experts in any of these areas are welcome. Don't be put off by the jargon and the names: it really is for all kinds of people with all kinds of background starting from where they/we really are.
In fact, no books are essential but anything by Rene Girard, James Alison & Michael Kirwan could be helpful.
Billy Hewett runs Inigo Enterprises for contemporary communication of Ignatian Spirituality (cf: www.Inigonet.org)
B3. ‘Called by God: an Introduction to the Idea of Christian Vocation’
Barton Geger SJ
Lectures and discussions on the idea of Christian vocation in light of Scripture, Church history and basic theological principles. Topics include three theories of vocation, types of vocations, the relative dignity of lay and religious life, and the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. No previous knowledge necessary.
Class One: Basic Principles of Vocation
-- Revelation, Human Freedom and Meaning
-- The Vocation of Jesus Christ
Class Two: Types of Vocation Past and Present
Class Three: The Nature of the Call
-- Three theories: Universal, Particular, Personalist
-- Case study: St. Ignatius Loyola
Class Four: The Relative Dignity of Christian Vocations
Class Five: The Second Vatican Council and the Lay Vocation
Class Six: Synthesis and Summary
Required Texts for the course:
- Catholic Bible (any English translation acceptable except the “Good News”)
- Vatican II: Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents, 2nd ed., ed. Austin Flannery, New York, Costello, 1981. (Only Volume One required. Other translated collections of these documents may be used.
- St. Ignatius Loyola: Personal Writings. Munitiz and Endean, eds. London: Penguin Books, 1996.
- Book of Readings (will be made available the first day of class).
Fr. Barton Geger is an American Jesuit writing a doctoral thesis at the Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid.
Helen Costigane SHCJ
What do we mean by ‘conscience’? How is it formed and informed? What are the ways in which its proper working may be distorted? Using film clips, this course will consider these and other relevant questions, in exploring what is meant by ‘conscience’. No prior knowledge needed or assumed.
- Richard Gula, Moral Discernment, Paulist Press, 1997
- Timothy O’Connell, Good People: Tough Choices: Making the Right Decisions Every Day, Thomas More Publishing, 1999
- James Keating, Pure Heart, Clear Conscience: Living a Catholic Moral Life, Our Sunday Visitor, 1999
- Ken Magid and Carole McKelvey, High Risk: Children Without a Conscience, Bantam, 1989
- Kenneth R. Overberg, Conscience in Conflict: How to Make Moral Choices. St Anthony Messenger Press, 1997
- Robert D. Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, Guilford Press, 1999
Helen Costigane SHCJ teaches Christian Ethics at Heythrop College, London
B5. 'Life in all its Fullness: the History of Catholic Social Teaching'
Informal lecture/interactive workshops geared to participants. History and development of the Catholic social tradition. The Papal tradition from Rerum Novarum. Changing models of society and Church. The influence of Vatican II. Major themes of modern social teaching. The place of local churches. Justice and Peace from above and below.
In a series of mixed lecture/interactive workshops I hope to cover the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, both historically and thematically. We shall look at the origins of the tradition in scripture and the Church Fathers. We shall discover how it developed in the classic Papal tradition since Rerum Novarum of 1891. The changing models of church and society in the twentieth century affected the development of social teaching, changes reflected in Vatican II. We will also examine the interaction with the social sciences and the influence of ecumenism. We shall also consider Catholic Social Teaching as a balance of authoritative tradition and local action.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006). Also online at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
Two excellent books for getting an overview:
Kenneth R. Himes OFM, Responses to 101 Questions on Catholic Social Teaching, (Paulist Press, 2001
Edward P. DeBerri, James E Hug, with Peter Henriot and Michael Schultheis, Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret (Orbis Books, 4th revised and expanded edition, 2003)
A good, accessible history, with an American background:
Marvin L. Krier Mich, Catholic Social Teaching and Movements (Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT; 1999)
A demanding, but fairly definitive study:
Charles E. Curran, Catholic Social Teaching 1891- Present: A Historical, Theological and Ethical Analysis, (Georgetown University Press, Washington D.C., 2002)
All these titles are currently available on Amazon
Tim Duffy has been Research Worker for the Scottish Catholic Justice and Peace Commission for twenty years.
B6. ‘The Last Supper in the Gospel of John’
John Hemer MHM
In this course we will try to explore some of the riches found in the long Last Supper Narrative of John’s Gospel (chapters 13-17) We will try to establish what the author was saying and apply these insights to our own lives as Christians.
The Gospel of John devotes five whole chapters to the account of the last supper, far more than the other three Gospels put together. Even so there is, strangely, no mention here of the institution of the Eucharist. In these five chapters Jesus gives his farewell message to his disciples. It is perhaps the most profound reflection on Christian Discipleship in the whole New Testament. In it Jesus summarises much of his teaching, draws it together and works out some of the consequences for the Church in the future. It is a text of wonderful theological, spiritual, anthropological and psychological riches. In this course we will try to explore some of those riches and apply them to our own lives of Christians. The teaching method will be basically straightforward lectures during which discussion and questions are welcome. Some familiarity with the Gospel of John would be a great help, but not essential.
- Brown, R. An Introduction to the Gospel of John New York 2003
- Crosby,, M., Do You Love Me? Jesus Questions the Church. Maryknoll 2000.
- Howard-Brook, W. Becoming Children of God, Maryknoll NY 1994
- Moloney, F.J. Glory not Dishonour Minneapolis 1998
- Winter, D. With Jesus in the Upper Room Oxford 2001.
Fr. John Hemer is a Mill Hill Father who has worked in Pakistan, Kenya and Uganda. He is at present on the Staff of Allen Hall Seminary, Chelsea. He teaches Scripture.