Marguerite Bourgeoys Lecture

Conversion, the Intellect, and Education

Monsignor Richard m. Liddy, S.T.L., Ph.D.
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Welcome with mulled wine at 5:30 p.m.

Liddy_RichardRichard M. LIDDY is Professor of Catholic Thought and Culture and the Director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University. He is also a member of the Departments of Religion and Catholic Studies. Previously he was rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary/School of Theology and spiritual director at the North American College in Rome. His doctoral dissertation was on the work of the American philosopher of art, Susanne K. Langer. In 1993 he published a work on his teacher, the Jesuit philosopher-theologian, Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984), entitledTransforming Light: Intellectual Conversion in the Early Lonergan. His book, Startling Strangeness: Reading Lonergan’s Insight was published in 2007. It deals with his own encounter with Lonergan as a student in Rome in the 1960s. He has also written articles on the thought of Blessed John Henry Newman as well as on the topics of art, education and formation and is President of the Newman Association of America.

Catholics spend huge amounts of money on education. Why? What does the academic life have to do with true wisdom?  Or, as the ancient writer Tertullian put it: “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?”  What do study and the life of the mind have to do with conversion and living well? Drawing on the thought of the Canadian philosopher-theologian Bernard Lonergan SJ, Msgr. Richard Liddy explains the relationship between true wisdom, moral virtue and right living.

The History of the Marguerite Bourgeoys Lecture

catholicstudies.namedlectures.margueritebourgeoys2The Marguerite Bourgeoys Lecture on Education was inaugurated in 2003 by the Newman Institute of Catholic Studies as part of the Newman Centre’s annual cycle of academic lectures. It pays tribute to St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, the seventeenth-century woman pioneer of Canadian education, who was instrumental in the establishment of the colony that would become Montreal.

The purpose of the Marguerite Bourgeoys lectures is to explore educational theories and practices in the modern world in the light of Catholic doctrine, ethics, and theologically-derived understandings of the human person. They also aim to explore the important legal and social relationships between religious freedom and faith-based education as they are affected by various forms of secularism in the Western world.

An academic committee oversees the selection of speakers and ensures that the lectures continue to give voice to important concerns facing the future of Catholic education both in Canada and abroad.

Since their inception, the lectures have been generously sponsored by the Congregation of Notre Dame, the religious order founded by St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, which has a long and distinguished place in the history of Canadian education.

Select Past Lectures:

  • John Haldane, FRSE, “Making Meaning Visible: Catholic Education, Human Nature, and Contemporary Culture”
  • Spencer Boudreau, “Minding the Gap in Catholic Education”
  • Tracey Rowland, “Catholic Education and the Bureaucratization of Grace”
  • Helen Raham, “Educational Pluralism in Canada”
  • Rex Murphy (CBC commentator), “Education and the Media”
  • Brian Stewart (CBC journalist), “On the Front Lines: Choosing to Make a Difference”
  • Lorraine Caza, CND “Facing New Frontiers: Challenges for Educators”

Future Lectures:

Media coverage of past Marguerite Bourgeoys Lectures: