Christianity, The Unity of Knowledge, and the Secularized Academy

July 22-26, 2013 at the University of Chicago

The pursuit and transmission of knowledge in the contemporary academy is highly specialized, secular, and regarded as separable from the social circumstances and beliefs of scientists, scholars, and students. This seminar analyzed the historical and intellectual reasons for the secularization and specialized fragmentation of knowledge characteristic of the contemporary academy. Through reading and discussion of scholarship pertaining to the historical processes through which knowledge was secularized, participants explored ways in which knowledge has been alternatively understood within a unifying philosophical and theological framework, and how such a framework might remain intellectually viable today.

In addition to primary sources, this seminar included discussion of the works of Pierre Hadot, Jean LeClerq, Alasdair MacIntyre, John Paul II, George Mardsen, Mark Knoll, and Christian Smith.

Seminar Leader: Brad Gregory is professor of history and the Dorothy G. Griffin collegiate chair at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University (1996) and was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows (1994-96). Before joining the faculty at Notre Dame in 2003, Gregory taught at Stanford University, where he received early tenure in 2001. Gregory has two degrees in philosophy as well, both earned at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Gregory’s research focuses on Christianity in the Reformation era, the long-term effects of the Reformation, secularization in early modern and modern Western history, and methodology in the study of religion. He most recently published The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.

Location: The seminar will be held at the University of Chicago, home of the Lumen Christi Institute. 

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