Claude Ryan Lecture

 The 2016 Claude Ryan Lecture on Catholic Social Thought

ericmcluhan-600x480Perception and Experience in Theology and Culture
Eric McLuhan

Friday, September 16, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Newman Centre (3484 Peel Street), map.
A reception will follow in the Newman Library


Eric McLuhan received his BSc in Communication from Wisconsin State University in 1972 and his MA and PhD in English Literature from the University of Dallas in 1980 and 1982. An internationally-respected scholar of communications and media, he has over forty years’ teaching experience in subjects including media and communication theory, and has taught at colleges and universities throughout Canada and the United States. He is the son of the late Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, who coined the concept of the “global village” and famously declared that “the medium is the message.”

Dr. McLuhan was co-author with Marshall McLuhan and Kathryn Hutchon, of City as Classroom (Irwin, 1977); with Marshall McLuhan, of Laws of Media: The New Science (University of Toronto Press, 1988); and with Wayne Constantineau, of The Human Equation (Toronto: BPS Books, 2010). Eric McLuhan is also the author of The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake (University of Toronto Press, 1997); Electric Language: Understanding the Present (Stoddart, 1998); Theories of Communication (New York: Peter Lang, 2010); and of Sensus Communis, Synthesia and the Soul (Toronto: BPS, 2015).

Dr. McLuhan’s Claude Ryan Lecture “Perception and Experience in Theology and Culture” will take place at an international colloquium entitled “Social Media and Human Flourishing.” His lecture is open to the public, but participation in the colloquium is by registration. Read more about the colloquium and register.

The 2016-17 Ryan Lecture is sponsored by the Newman Association of Montreal Inc. and the English Speaking Catholic Council in Montreal.

The History of the Claude Ryan Lecture

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Claude Ryan (1965); Photo: courtesy of the Newman Centre

The Claude Ryan Lecture on Catholic Social Thought was inaugurated in 2004 by the Newman Institute of Catholic Studies as one of the major lectures of The Newman Centre of McGill University. Named in honour of the late Claude Ryan (1925-2004), the lecture aims to tackle questions at the crossroads of politics and theology, which were of deep and enduring interest to Mr. Ryan.

Mr. Ryan (pictured), a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec, led a life of unremitting service to Canada and the Church for over four decades.

As a public figure in Quebec, Ryan served as Director of Le Devoir, an influential French-language newspaper from 1964-1978. He was then elected leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, a post he held until retiring from public service in 1982, after victoriously leading the “No” vote in the 1980 Referendum on the question of Quebec sovereignty.

In 2014, on the 10th anniversary of his passing, McGill University, the Newman Institute, and the Newman Centre partnered to host a major symposium entitled The Life and Legacy of Claude Ryan. This event attracted participation from former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, and the Hon. Thomas Mulcair, as well as over two dozen scholars, including award-winning Canadian historian Dr. Michael Gauvreau. Read press coverage of the symposium.

As a devout lay Catholic in the public eye, Ryan exercised his role as a leader with sensitivity to the questions and concerns of his times, never failing to seek solutions in Catholic doctrine. In the last decade of his life, he devoted himself to teaching courses related to theology and politics at the Newman Institute and McGill University, where he was deeply respected by students and faculty alike. Ryan found a home for his classes at the Newman Centre, where he became actively involved in various teaching initiatives, offering courses on John Henry Newman and Catholic Social Thought. The courses Ryan taught at the Newman Centre were precursors to McGill’s Catholic Studies Program and are now part of that program’s core curriculum.

Past Claude Ryan Lectures Include

Media coverage of past Ryan Lectures: