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Department of Catholic Studies presents "Francis of Assisi in the Sources: Weighing the Evidence"
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Francis of Assisi Book CoverAs a part of the Department of Catholic Studies' Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series, Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P., S.T.M. will speak on "Francis of Assisi in the Sources: Weighing the Evidence." The event will be held in Chancellor’s Suite, UC on October 24, 2013 from 4 - 6 p.m.

Among the most beloved saints in the Catholic tradition, Francis of Assisi (1181–1226) is popularly remembered for his dedication to poverty, his love of animals and nature, and his desire to follow perfectly the teachings and example of Christ. During his lifetime and after his death, followers collected, for their own purposes, numerous stories, anecdotes, and reports about Francis. As a result, the man himself and his own concerns became lost in legend.

In his lecture, Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., will analyze the surviving evidence for the life of Francis using modern historical methods. The result is a complex yet sympathetic portrait of the man and the saint. The Francis who will emerge is both more complex and more conflicted than that of older research. His famed devotion to poverty is found to be more nuanced than expected, perhaps not even his principal spiritual concern. Fr. Thompson will revisit events small and large in Francis's life, including his troubled relations with his father, his contacts with Clare of Assisi, his encounter with the Muslim sultan, and his receiving the Stigmata, to uncover the man behind the legends and popular images.

Fr. Thompson is a Professor of History in the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

About the Department of Catholic Studies
Established in 2012 - the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II - the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University, America's oldest diocesan university, fosters Seton Hall's Catholic identity and mission by exploring the relationship of Catholicism with all areas of culture and learning. Since its focus is the Church's encounter and dialogue with society or the Church in the world, Vatican II designated a special place for Catholic Studies as a discipline in academic life. As a result, Catholic Studies is a dialogue between Catholicism and culture that occurs in a special way at Catholic universities. While respecting other disciplines, Catholic Studies explores theology and philosophy in relation to culture, humankind and the world. This methodological approach opens up a place for all other disciplines; these enrich Catholic Studies and are enriched in return. Catholic Studies builds upon and develops the themes and questions addressed in the University Core Curriculum and is complementary to other disciplines. A bachelor's degree in Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts degree — a major that enhances every other major.

For more information please contact:
Brittany Venturella
(973) 275-2175


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