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Walsh Welcomes International Scholars for Vatican II Conference, May 3-5

What's New, 2012-04-30

Walsh University will welcome international scholars to campus this week for the conference "Vatican II Reconsidered" from May 3-5, marking the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II.  Scholars representing the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown, Fordham, Villanova, Xavier, Catholic University, Harvard, the University of Toronto, Katholicke University of Leuven, the University of Melbourne, et al., will present papers on the following topics related to the Second Vatican Council.

  • Historiography of Vatican II
  • Theological Influences on Vatican II
  • Post-Vatican II Catholic Theology
  • Catholic Social Justice
  • The Role of Women in the Church
  • The Relationship Between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Today
  • Catholic Higher Education Post-Vatican II
  • Interfaith Dialogue Post-Vatican II

The Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., Ph.D., the Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, and Michael J. James, Ph.D, Fellow of the Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Education at Boston College, will be featured guests. Peter Steinfels, a professor at Fordham University and a founding co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture will be the keynote speaker.

An Interfaith Panel on Saturday, May 5 at 1:15 p.m. will address and discuss the question “are there limits to interfaith dialogue?"  Moderated by Rabbi David Sandmel, Ph.D., the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union,Participants on the panel include Dr. Umeyya Isra Yazicioglu, professor of Islamic Studies at St. Joseph University, Fr. Robert Pelton, CSC, fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University at Notre Dame and Dr. Scott Holland, director of Peace Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies at Bethany Seminary.

“The importance of the Vatican II Conference to held here at Walsh University lies in the opportunity it provides to have a positive and productive conversation about a critical event in the history of the Catholic church,” noted Matthew Powell, assistant professor of theology. “There have only been 21 Ecumenical Councils in the nearly 2,000 year history of the Church, and each has worked to shape the very nature and direction of this community we call the Body of Christ. In order for the Body to be healthy, we must work to understand the guidance provided by these councils. We must be diligent in responding to the mission they outline for the faithful. And we must continually seek to spread the Gospel message, as is has been received and passed along to us. The conference will hopefully support this ongoing corporate and cumulative process.”

 Powell continued that the conference will bring together members of the Church from across the country and from Canada, Australia and Europe. Presenters will include priests, nuns, lay ministers and well as theologians. The event is open to both academics and everyday Catholics seeking to better understand Vatican II. Moreover, the last day of the conference will be dedicated to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue.

 “The goal for participants of the conference is to come away with a better understanding of not only what happened at Vatican II, but what that means for the Church – and the world – in the here and now,” Powell said. “We hope this will invigorate the Church and promote the teachings of Vatican II.”