Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

“Make Christianity Weird Again:” A Story of Unlikely Friendship Between the first German Pope and the First Existentialiist - Catholic Studies Lecture and Award Ceremony

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 -
7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Gerald Schwartz School of Business, Schwartz 156

Dr Matt Dinan, St. John XXIII Chair in Catholic Studies and Assistant Professor at St Thomas University, Fredericton, will speak on "Make Christianity Weird Again:"

The lecture will be preceded by the award of certificates and bursaries funded by the Rev BA MacDonald Memorial Fund and the C & A MacPhee Memorial Fund.

In his lecture, Dr Dinan will speak about the unlikely 'friendship' between the first German Pope and the first existentialist philosopher. Dr Dinan summarizes his talk as follows:

How do you 'introduce' something that has existed for over two thousand years? How do you make something seem new and exciting when everybody, everywhere already knows what it is? This is precisely the question that confronted Danish Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in Denmark in the 19th Century and German then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the 20th, as each faced the novel problem of how to reintroduce Christianity to an ostensibly Christian world. This lecture will explore the surprising ways in which the theologian Joseph Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict XVI) saturated his seminal book "Introduction to Christianity" in the works of the Protestant philosopher, Kierkegaard. By exploring this strange connection, we will see the ways in which Kierkegaard and Ratzinger reintroduced Christianity to our secular age by being honest about how weird it is. In so doing, we'll discover that whether we’re Christians or not, understanding our fundamental weirdness might be the key to sanity in our crazy world.

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