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The Word of God in the Life of the Church: Achievements of the Baptist and Catholic Dialogue, 2006-2010
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Bishop Arthur Serratelli
Bishop Arthur Serratelli.
Timothy George
Dr. Timothy George.

The Department of Catholic Studies, in cooperation with the Commission on Christian Unity of the Archdiocese of Newark, will present "The Word of God in the Life of the Church: Achievements of the Baptist and Catholic dialogue, 2006-2010" on April 10, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Beck Rooms, Walsh Library. Most Rev. Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson and Co-Chairman of the International Baptist-Catholic Dialogue, and Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University and Member of the International Baptist-Catholic Dialogue, will speak on the panel. This program is also co-sponsored by the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission.

Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church and the Baptist World Alliance have engaged in two phases of international Baptist–Catholic dialogue. The first phase, 1984-1988, published a report entitled "Summons to Witness to Christ in Today’s World."

The second phase, 2006-2010, on which the program focuses, published its report entitled "The Word of God in the Life of the Church." That report addressed controversial issues between Baptists and Catholics since the sixteenth century Reformation. These include the relationship between Scripture and tradition, Baptism and the Lord's Supper/ Eucharist, the role of Mary in the Church, the Ministry of Oversight and Unity in the life of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the dialogue members when he met them on December 6, 2007, saying "If our hope for reconciliation and greater fellowship between Baptists and Catholics is to be realized, issues such as these need to be faced together, in a spirit of openness, mutual respect and fidelity to the liberating truth and saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." The report shows the important areas of consensus and convergence, as well as the continuing differences on these issues discovered by the dialogue. Bishop Arthur Serratelli and Dr. Timothy George, who both participated in this dialogue, will present their views on its importance and its achievements.

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


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