The Center for Catholic Studies Toth-Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies
The Toth-Lonergan Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies is an endowed visiting professorship, named for Deacon William Toth and Fr. Bernard Lonergan. S.J., each man in his own way concerned with the interdisciplinarity required of an authentic Catholic University. The Toth-Lonergan Professorship brings a leading Catholic scholar to campus to articulate and strengthen the university's Catholic mission and its relevance for and influence on all other areas of the university.
To relate the good news of the Gospel to all dimensions of human reality, requires a common ground, a contemporary interdisciplinary philosophy or methodology that can enable conversation and shared inquiry between the various disciplines and methodologies that constitute the contemporary university: the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and other scholarly disciplines. The visiting professor assists faculty and students in undertaking this collaborative work by teaching and deepening our understanding of Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM"), which is rooted in the scholar's own self-knowledge, whatever his or her discipline. This approach has proved indispensable for fostering collaborative creativity among scholars across the various disciplines and helping them relate their work to the overall mission of the university.
About the Toth-Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies
The Toth-Lonergan Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies was created by the Center for Catholic Studies to honor two great scholars: Bernard Lonergan, S.J. and Deacon William Toth. Fr. Lonergan (1904-1984) was a renowned scholar whose classic works, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972) link faith and theology with the contemporary sciences and professions by way of a generalized empirical method (GEM). The twenty-five volumes of his Collected Works, published by the University of Toronto Press, include works on theology, the sciences and contemporary economics. Deacon Toth (1940-2008), who taught moral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology, founded the Institute on Work within the Center for Catholic Studies, which later became the Micah Institute. Deacon Toth sought to link Catholic theology with the professions, especially business and law.
J. Michael Stebbins is the third Visiting Professor to hold this title, succeeding Mark Miller of the University of San Francisco (2017-2018) and Fr. Louis Roy of the Dominican University of Ottawa (2019).
The Toth-Lonergan Endowment at the Center for Catholic Studies supports a scholar whose work will deepen and enhance the connections between the University's Catholic mission and scholarly and professional education. The establishment of this endowed position represents another important step in the University's implementation of the strategic plan, Strength to Strength.
The Toth-Lonergan Endowment at the Center for Catholic Studies is an important resource for promoting Seton Hall's efforts, in President Joseph Nyre's words, "to change destinations and transform the lives of students, faculty and the community at large" as they engage in "the great conversations, controversies and challenges of society."
To support the Toth-Lonergan Endowment, please visit: https://advancement.shu.edu/support/center-for-catholic-studies
The Toth-Lonergan Endowed Chair Accepting New Applications, February 2022
We are pleased to invite qualified scholars for a new round of applicants for the
Toth-Lonergan Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies, for the term of either Fall 2022 or Spring 2023.
A visiting professorship now in its sixth year, the Toth-Lonergan Chair was founded to support the Mission of Seton Hall by engaging faculty, students, and staff in the development of Catholic identity and the cultivation of authentic interdisciplinarity by understanding and applying the work of Bernard Lonergan. Please consider whether you or someone you know would be interested in applying for either the fall or spring semester this next academic year. Applicants may forward a cover letter and CV to: [email protected].
With questions, please contact: [email protected]
The Center for Catholic Studies Welcomes Fifth Toth-Lonergan Scholar Francesca Zaccaron, Ph.D.
The Center for Catholic Studies is pleased to introduce the new Toth Lonergan Visiting Professor, Francesca Zaccaron, Ph.D. Having worked previously with Seton Hall faculty members, a GEM scholar and visiting lecturer in 2016, 2018, and 2019 and organizer of the 2017 summer workshop for the Praxis Program of Advanced Seminar on Mission, she now returns to lend her unique blend of academic and practical expertise to the role of Toth-Lonergan Chair—a facilitator of interdisciplinary dialogue between the mission and identity of the university and the diverse disciplines of its students, faculty and staff.
Hailing from the culturally and religiously diverse region of Trieste, Italy, Zaccaron’s hometown environment of openness and encounter first fostered her fascination with intercultural exchange. While completing her Ph.D. in Theories, History and Methods of Education at the LUMSA University (Rome) and participating in the Ph.D. student exchange program at King’s College, London, she connected with Seton Hall’s own Msgr. Liddy and fell in love with the work of Lonergan. Zaccaron went on to become a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Lonergan Institute of Boston College, where she was able to immerse herself in the Lonergan community and the richness of Ignatian spirituality infused in his thought.
Zaccaron is dedicated to helping young people on their paths through education, and she believes Lonergan’s approach to educating the whole human person and engaging divergent perspectives has much to offer students of every age. In an ever-changing technological world, she believes that "Lonergan gives perspective for today but also for times to come." A member of PESGB (Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain) and of American Maritain Association, she holds a tenured position in the school system of North-East Italy, teaching philosophy and history at Liceo Francesco Da Collo (Conegliano, TV), while also heading the orientation, CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), and Parole O stili projects.
In addition to her Lonergan background, Zaccaron serves on the Board of Directors at the Jacques Maritain Institute (Trieste, Italy), which studies Maritain’s philosophy of personalism for application to contemporary society’s discussion of human rights, development, democracy, and dialogue. In collaboration with the Institute, Zaccaron also serves as director of Anthropologica, its connected journal and philosophical yearbook, and editor for the publishing house Edizioni Meudon.
On behalf of the Center here at Seton Hall, director Patrick Manning extends a warm welcome to Zaccaron: "I am very pleased to welcome Zaccaron to Seton Hall. We have benefited from her philosophical insights and experience as an educator in the past when she came to visit Seton Hall or joined our Praxis workshops abroad. It excites me to think about all the beautiful possibilities that will unfold in this next year during which she will be living, teaching, thinking, and conversing with us here in South Orange."
Nancy Enright, Ph.D., Director of University Core, also expressed her department’s support: "In the Core we are especially excited to welcome Zaccaron as the Toth-Lonergan scholar, as she will be teaching a section of Core I: Journey of Transformation for us this fall. She will be a wonderful addition to the Core, as she will certainly also be, as the Toth-Lonergan Scholar for the Catholic Studies Center, the Praxis Program, and other areas."
The Toth-Lonergan Scholar, named for Deacon William Toth (1940-2008), a former professor at the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, and Bernard Lonergan, S.J. (1904-1984), a philosopher-theologian who developed the "Generalized Empirical Method" (GEM) theory of cognition, was created by the Center for Catholic Studies to propagate these scholars' emphasis on the alignment of faith and reason in the realm of the university, uniting theory and practice through scholarship across disciplines. Zaccaron’s deep study of Lonergan’s philosophy combined with her hands-on experience with interdisciplinary service and education make her ideally suited to this mission, and the Center looks forward to her contribution.
Dr. Zaccaron can be contacted at [email protected].
The Center for Catholic Studies Welcomes Fourth Annual Toth Lonergan Visiting Professor Fr. Brian Cronin, C.S.Sp.
The Center for Catholic Studies is pleased to welcome Fr. Brian Cronin, C.S.Sp. as the fourth Toth Lonergan Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. Fr. Cronin will be in residence at Seton Hall for the 2022 Fall Semester, living at Immaculate Conception Seminary, teaching an undergraduate course, delivering a campus-wide lectures and facilitating monthly seminars on mission for Seton Hall faculty in the Praxis Program.
Fr. Brian is a seasoned scholar who brings a wealth of professional and pastoral experience to his role. A native son of Dublin, after his ordination he served as a missionary in Kenya for eight years before spending the next twenty teaching at the Spiritan Missionary Seminary in Tanzania. He later joined the philosophy faculty at Duquesne University where he served until 2020. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston College as well as a License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from the Gregorian University in Rome.
Fr. Brian is the author of numerous scholarly articles as well as four books: Foundations of Philosophy: Lonergan's Cognitional Theory and Epistemology (2005), Value Ethics: A Lonergan Perspective (2006), Phenomenology of Human Understanding (2017), and a forthcoming work, A Worldview of Everything: A Contemporary First Philosophy (Wipf and Stock, 2022).
Gregory Floyd, Director of the Center for Catholic Studies, said of Fr. Brian joining this fall,
We are excited to welcome Fr. Brian to campus this fall. His scholarly work is already known to many faculty on campus and we expect to benefit from his teaching, presentations and daily presence with us. I am especially grateful to our search committee for their work in bringing a scholar of such rich intellectual, international, and pastoral experience to Seton Hall.
The Toth Lonergan Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies was created by the Center for Catholic Studies to honor two great scholars: Deacon William Toth and Bernard Lonergan, S.J.
Deacon Toth (1940-2008), taught moral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and founded the Institute on Work. Deacon Toth’s scholarship sought to link Catholic theology with the professions, especially business and law. Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) was an important twentieth center philosopher and theologian who developed a theory of thinking, which he called a generalized empirical method. It provides a foundation for rigorous and generous interdisciplinary work. Lonergan’s cognitional theory supplies a basis for the dialogue between faith and reason, between the various disciplines of the university and between university life and practical life.
The Toth Lonergan Chair brings these two emphases together by inviting a noted scholar to campus each year. The invited scholar facilitates an interdisciplinary dialogue linking the mission and identity of the university to its diverse disciplines and the lives of its students, faculty and staff.
For more information on the Toth/Lonergan Endowment Fund, contact the Center of Catholic Studies at [email protected].
About the Congregation of the Holy Spirit
The Congregation of the Holy Spirit (the Spiritans) were founded in France in 1703. Today they are a missionary order of nearly 3,000 priests, brothers, and Lay Spiritan Associates dedicated to education and various ministries throughout the world.
The Center for Catholic Studies Re-Appoints Toth-Lonergan Visiting Professor J. Michael Stebbins, Ph.D.
The Center for Catholic Studies
J. Michael Stebbins, Ph.D., has been reappointed as the Toth/Lonergan Endowed Visiting Professor for the 2020-2021 academic year, following his initial appointment 2019. Professor Stebbins has continued to conduct numerous teaching and scholarly activities throughout the university. Dr. Stebbins' areas of expertise include systematic theology, ethics, human cognition and decision-making, and the theological and philosophical work of Bernard Lonergan. According to Gregory Floyd, Ph.D., the new Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and the Bernard Lonergan Institute, "Dr. Stebbins is not only an expert in Lonergan's thought, but also uniquely positioned to help us reflect on its timely application to some of the most pressing ethical issues of our day. His appointment this year continues a tremendous opportunity for our students and our faculty."
"Dr. Stebbins is the perfect fit for the Toth/Lonergan Professorship," said Msgr. Richard Liddy, University Professor of Catholic Thought and Culture and Director of the Center for Catholic Studies. "Not only is he an excellent teacher who can help students discover how their own concerns are linked to the 'big questions' that human beings have been asking for thousands of years, but he also has a deep grasp of the fundamental issues which grip our society in the present age. I am delighted he is with us at Seton Hall."
The purpose of the Toth/Lonergan Professorship is to enhance the connections between the university's Catholic mission and all areas of the university. In addition to teaching, Dr. Stebbins will have the opportunity to participate in the university's faculty development programs, specifically those which link Bernard Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM") with the various disciplines, such as the Praxis Program of the Advanced Seminar on Mission, sponsored by the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership, and co-sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies. He will also engage in a variety of ways with schools, departments, and programs around the University.
Most recently, Dr. Stebbins served as the Executive Vice President of Mission at Avera Health, a four-state Catholic health care system headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In that role he exercised system-level responsibility for mission and formation programs and, more broadly, for the integration of Avera's Catholic identity and mission into its operations. Dr. Stebbins has also served as the director of the Gonzaga Ethics Institute at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and as the director of the Arrupe Program in Social Ethics for Business at the Woodstock Theological Center, located at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Earlier in his career he worked as a registered nurse at Children's Hospital in Seattle. Dr. Stebbins holds a B.A. in philosophy from Gonzaga University, a B.S. in nursing from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College. He is the author of The Divine Initiative: Grace, World-Order, and Human Freedom in the Early Writings of Bernard Lonergan (University of Toronto Press). He and his wife Mary Kay have five children, ages 20 to 33. Dr. Stebbins can be contacted at [email protected].
The Center for Catholic Studies Welcomes Next Toth/Lonergan Visiting Professor Fr. Louis Roy, O.P.
On Tuesday, October 23, the Center for Catholic Studies hosted its Annual Friends Dinner for the Toth-Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies to welcome the 2019 Toth-Lonergan Professor, Fr. Louis Roy, O.P., a Dominican scholar from Canada. After teaching at Boston College for 21 years, Fr. Roy now teaches at Dominican University in Ottawa. He will join the Seton Hall community for the spring 2019 semester where he will teach courses in the Catholic Studies Program and the Department of Religion.
Friends and supporters of the Toth/Lonergan Endowed Professorship were also joined by the inaugural Toth/Lonergan Professor, Mark Miller, Ph.D. As the first Toth/Lonergan professor at Seton Hall, Miller taught courses within the Core Curriculum, Honors Program, Law School, and Seminary. Miller's time on campus enriched the Catholic mission of the university by becoming part of the interpersonal "glue" that holds the university together. Miller continues to be of service to many faculty members and administrators.
The purpose of the Toth-Lonergan Professor is to enhance the connections between the university's Catholic mission and academic and professional education through teaching students from all areas of the university. Fr. Roy will have the opportunity to participate in the university's faculty development programs, which link Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM") with the various disciplines.
About Fr. Louis Roy, O.P. - Toth -Lonergan Visiting Professor 2019
Louis Roy, O.P., holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. After teaching for twenty-one years at the Jesuit University of Boston College, he is now Professor of theology at the Dominican University College in Ottawa. He has published books in English, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese. He is interested in intellectual, affective and mystical approaches to God, in religious experience and revelation, in interreligious dialogue, and in the relations between Christianity and cultures.
About Mark Miller- Toth-Lonergan Visiting Professor 2017-2018
Mark T. Miller, Ph. D., (University of San Francisco), a leading authority on the life and work of Bernard Lonergan, was the inaugural Toth/ Lonergan Professor at Seton Hall in 2017-2018. Professor Miller helped enhance the connections between the University's Catholic mission and academic and professional education through teaching students in the Core Curriculum, Honors Program, Law School and Seminary. He will also participated in the University's faculty development programs, which link Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM") with the disciplines
About the Center for Catholic Studies
Founded at Seton Hall University in 1997, The Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture, through scholarly research and publications and ongoing programs for faculty, students, and the general public. In 2001, the Center conducted the annual faculty summer seminar, "The Core of the Core," which originated the present University Core Curriculum. The Center also developed the undergraduate degree program in Catholic Studies with its major, minor and certificate, which in 2012 became the Department of Catholic Studies. The Center continues to support the Department with scholarship aid and its ongoing program of co-curricular activities.
Focusing on the central role of the faculty, the Center is the sponsor of regular Faculty Development programs, including lectures, seminars and retreats. The Center also administers two national faculty development programs: Collegium: A Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life, and The Lilly Fellows Program.
The Center maintains a global focus in international scholarship and is the home of the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, as well as the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute. The Institutes offer opportunities for study and research, as well as ongoing programs related to faith and culture. In addition, the Micah Institute for Business and Economics concentrates on communicating Catholic Social Teaching and ethics to business education at Seton Hall and the wider business community. The Center also publishes the prestigious Chesterton Review and The Lonergan Review.
About: Fr. Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) was a renowned scholar, who, as noted by Time magazine, was "considered by many intellectuals to be the finest philosophic thinker of the 20th century." Lonergan's classic works, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972), link faith and theology with the contemporary sciences and professions by way of a generalized empirical method (GEM). The 25 volumes of his Collected Works, published by the University of Toronto Press, include works on theology, the sciences and macroeconomics. Since 2009 Seton Hall has annually published The Lonergan Review, edited by Dr. Gregory Floyd, current Director, and Msgr. Richard Liddy, Founding Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute.
About: Deacon William Toth (1940-2008), who taught moral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology, founded the Institute on Work within the Center for Catholic Studies, which later became the Micah Institute. He also served as chair of the Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark. Deacon Toth sought to link Catholic theology with the professions, especially business and law.