Symposium Friday 4 May 2012
Natural Law and Revelation in the Judeo-Christian Tradition
In a time when the great faith traditions are seeking to defend basic shared values against radical social legislation, it is important that they identify their commonalities. The notion of basic shared values, founded on faith, also has a deeper value: it promotes a fundamental unity amongst humanity with a living spiritual heart. The purpose of this seminar is to investigate areas of overlap between the values delivered in Jewish tradition in the tradition of revelation, with its commentary, from Sinai, and those delivered by the Christian tradition of natural law thinking. The Catholic scholar Professor Robert George has written that natural law is "entirely compatible with, and indeed, illumined by" revelation. The symposium will pursue this notion from the standpoints of Jewish and Christian tradition.
On the 26th of August, the Centre for the Study of Western Tradition was inaugurated by Professor Geoffrey Blainey in front of one hundred of the Centre’s supporters and distinguished guests. In attendance were scholars from across Australia, including representatives from Australia’s leading universities as well as the NSW parliament. The Director, Luciano Boschiero, spoke of the Centre’s aim to involve people active in a variety of fields and scholarly disciplines into a broad range of discussions, including the goal of a university education, the meaning of democracy, the significance of religion in Australian society, and culture and the importance of science in Western tradition. These are some of the central themes that will be explored by the Centre in a series of seminars, workshops and conferences.
Blainey, who will soon publish a history of Christianity with Penguin Books, spoke movingly to the audience about these themes, some of which he has explored thoroughly throughout his illustrious career, including the grounding of Australian culture in Christian tradition and the importance of democratic ideals to the foundations of Western politics and economics. Blainey concluded his speech with a stirring reminder of the importance of informed intellectual conversations regarding the foundations of the Western traditions that contribute to Australian society and culture. He stated: “We live in an intensely interesting and complicated era, intellectually, and it is so important that there should be a centre for the study of western tradition that tries to look at the origins of so many of the ideas that are powerful now or that will be powerful in the future or that once were powerful. I do congratulate Campion College on launching this venture. I do hope it’s a great success”.
View article from The Parramatta Advertiser
Symposium: Shifting Paradigms: The Twilight of the Secular and the Return of the Idols?
December 7th, 2011For the recorded audio of the Symposium, click here.
Thursday 10 November : Professor George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC, "The Free and Virtuous Society in the Teaching of Blessed John Paull II". For the recorded audio of Professor Weigel, click here
Thursday 6 October: Professor Stuart Piggin, Director of the Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience (CTE) at Macquarie University, "A 'Christian Country'? Desecularisation in Australian History". For the recorded audio of Dr Piggin's lecture, click here
Thursday 4 August: Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, Director of the Institute for Judaism and Civilization “Universal Laws and Values at the Root of World Religions”. For the recorded audio of Rabbi Cowen’s lecture, click here
Some of Sydney's sharpest minds and experienced educators met for a workshop, organised by the Centre on 10 December 2010, to discuss the intellectual origins of Australian universities and the approaches currently taken towards tertiary education.
The Centre's Director, Luciano Boschiero states: "This event contributes to a growing debate in Australia about what values and skills universities should impart on our future doctors, lawyers, teachers and community leaders".
Participants included several eminent scholars with distinguished careers in the tertiary education sector, including Gregory Melleuish (University of Wollongong), John Schuster, Geoffrey Sherington (both University of Sydney), Bruce Marshall (Macquarie University), and John Gascoigne (University of New South Wales). They explored the premise that liberal studies, combining the sciences and humanities and emphasising virtues such as wisdom and the ability to think critically, should form the foundation of undergraduate degrees, a notion supported in recent times by vice-chancellors from some of Australia's leading universities.
According to Boschiero, "the outcomes of this workshop will be made public and will surely prove valuable in the ongoing assessment of the standards and expectations of tertiary education in Australia".
Workshop speakers (from left): Alan Atkinson, Geoffrey Sherington, Gregory Melleuish, Stephen McInerney, Susanna Rizzo, Constant Mews, Bruce Marshall, Nicholas Hardwick, John Schuster