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“Healing the Church, Uniting the Nations: the 600th Anniversary of the Council of Constance” Lecture
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Council of Constance

Professor David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, will be giving a lecture on the Council of Constance, titled “Healing the Church, Uniting the Nations: the 600th Anniversary of the Council of Constance.” The event, sponsored by the Department of Catholic Studies, will take place on February 18, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in the Nursing Amphitheater, NU113.

This event is a part of the Department of Catholic Studies’ Medieval Catholicism Lecture Series.

In 1378, the Catholic Church split in two, with rival popes at Rome and Avignon. Catherine of Siena and other religious leaders attempted to heal this schism, but it was not until 1414 that Church representatives gathered from all over Europe to try to reunify western Christendom. These representatives were organized into nations, and there was great and protracted debate over which peoples could be granted national status. And if the two rival popes were each to resign, to make way for a newly-elected pope, there was much debate on where the continuity of the Church could reside: with the cardinals (representing only two nations) or with the Council itself. Arguments for the importance of rule by Council, known as conciliarism, would then figure prominently at Vatican II. Meanwhile, the small lakeside town of Constance was transformed by the arrival of thousands of people, including many of the great intellectuals, scholars, literati, and musicians of the age. From 1414 to 1418, they created an international literary culture of extraordinary richness; it was from Constance, for example, that the Italian humanist Poggio Bracciolini set out to make his great discoveries of classical texts in monastic libraries. This talk will consider the extraordinary richness of this remarkable event, poised at the cusp between medieval scholasticism and the new humanism of Renaissance Europe.

Professor Wallace is currently editing a literary history of Europe, 1348-1418, for Oxford University Press in which Constance features as the last of 82 locations: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~dwallace/europe/index.html .

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.

Seton Hall is the first university in the eastern United States to create a Department of Catholic Studies. In December 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, imparted the Apostolic Blessing to Seton Hall University on the occasion of the establishment of the Department of Catholic Studies. This makes Seton Hall the first and only university in the United States to claim such a rare honor.

 

For more information please contact:
Brittany Venturella
(973) 275-2175
cast@shu.edu

 

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