(Above) Most Rev. Charles Chaput, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Photo courtesy Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Gonzaga News Service
SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University’s Faith and Reason Institute will celebrate and reflect on the 20-year anniversary of “Faith and Reason,” the famous encyclical of Pope John Paul II, with a series of events in September highlighted by lectures from Most Rev. Charles Chaput, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and author Robert Royal.
All of the events in the series, titled “Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason): Twenty Years Later” are free and open to the public. The events are sponsored by the Gonzaga Faith and Reason Institute, and co-sponsored by the Diocese of Spokane and the Gonzaga Socratic Club.
At the invitation of Most. Rev. Thomas A. Daly, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Archbishop Chaput will speak on the actual anniversary of the encyclical: at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14 in the Globe Room of Cataldo Hall. A member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Chaput is the first Native American archbishop in the United States. John Paul II appointed him bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota in 1988. He was consecrated archbishop of Denver in 1997 and then of Philadelphia in 2011. The archbishop is also a prolific writer. His most recent book is “Strangers in a Strange Land.”
Royal, frequent commentator on EWTN, will discuss the topic “Beyond Reason’s Wax Nose,” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13, also in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. Perhaps best known for his many appearances on EWTN (the Eternal World Television Network), Royal’s books include “The God Who Did Not Fail” and, most recently, “A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.” Royal is president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., and editor of the online column series “The Catholic Thing.”
• Documentary: “Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism,” 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19 in the Hemmingson Center Auditorium. This film explains the tumultuous but hopeful context for the writing of “Faith and Reason.”
• Panel discussion: Gonzaga philosophy professors and others who have reflected on “Faith and Reason” will discuss the encyclical at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 24 in Room 110 of the Jundt Art Center and Museum.
“Faith and Reason” is perhaps the most intellectually demanding and fundamental of John Paul’s 14 encyclicals. Its central claim is that both reason and faith are necessary for the human spirit to soar. The two can and must go together, integrated into a complete human life. The encyclical is often viewed as the most comprehensive papal treatment of this important topic. The intersection of faith and reason is also highlighted in the “Statement of Affirmation” between Gonzaga University and the Society of Jesus, where it is listed first among the values of a Catholic university.
The Gonzaga Faith and Reason Institute was founded in the year following the release of John Paul’s encyclical. It is currently directed by philosophy Professor Brian Clayton, who has just published “Two Wings: Integrating Faith and Reason.” This book, co-authored by Gonzaga philosophy Professor Douglas Kries, is based on years of classroom experience in teaching a course on faith and reason at Gonzaga.