College of Arts and Sciences

Jaki, Science, and Chesterton: Online Conference  

Photo of Father JakiThe Catholic Studies Program, the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, and the Department of Physics, in collaboration with the Stanley Jaki Foundation, are pleased to present an online conference, "Jaki, Science, and Chesterton." The conference panelists are Rev. Paul Haffner, Rev. Joseph Laracy, Dr. Dermot Quinn, and Dr. Stacy Trasancos. The conference will be moderated by Dr. M. Alper Sahiner and facilitated by Dr. Jose L. Lopez. The conference will be streamed online via ZOOM on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST. This event is free and open to the public and is accessible here:

Seton Hall University is proud to have been home to Rev. Stanley L. Jaki, O.S.B., who was a world-renowned author, physicist, philosopher, and theologian. The scholarship of Fr. Jaki, who attained the rank of Distinguished University Professor of Physics at Seton Hall, focused on the intersection of science and faith, which is found in the pursuit of Truth. The panelists in this discussion, which honors the tradition and spirit of Fr. Jaki's research and ministry, will explore the ways in which G. K. Chesterton's philosophy correlated with Fr. Jaki's own, tracing the two philosophers' focus on dialogue and realism.

The panelists, sharing from their own areas of expertise, will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of the work of Jaki and Chesterton and applications of their thought to challenges we face today.

  • In "Chesterton's Realism and the Work of Stanley L. Jaki," Rev. Paul Haffner, S.T.D., will explore how Chesterton, while not furnishing a systematic notion of realism, offered an inspiring discursive approach which squares well with Jaki's more systematic guide to a real approach to the universe. Fr. Haffner, is an Adjunct Professor of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University. Paul Haffner studied physics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1987, he defended and published his doctorate at the Gregorian University, titled Christian Faith in God the Creator in relation to Modern Science according to the works of S. L. Jaki. Since 1987, he has been a lecturer at the Pontifical Gregorian University and, since 2014 he has taught online at Seton Hall University. He is president of the Stanley Jaki Foundation since 13 April 2010, representative to the Holy See of Gracewing Publishing since 1 January 2012, and member of the Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis since 8 December 2012. He is author of over 40 books and 150 articles on philosophical and theological themes, and many of his books have been translated into other languages, including Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
  • In "Seer of Science: Benedict XVI," Rev. Joseph R. Laracy, S.T.D., will discuss Fr. Jaki's 1986 book, Chesterton, A Seer of Science, in light of the ongoing problem of the presumed conflict between the principles and methods of the empirical sciences and the doctrines of the Christian faith, in addition to the possibility that Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI is a contemporary "seer of science." Fr. Laracy is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University and is affiliated with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Catholic Studies, the University Core Curriculum, and the University Honors Program. He earned S.T.B., S.T.L., and S.T.D. (Fundamental Theology) degrees from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
  • In "Chesterton, Jaki, and the Challenge of Science," Dermot Quinn, D.Phil., will elucidate how Chesterton's attitude toward science and scientism, brilliantly explored by Fr. Jaki in his book Chesterton, A Seer of Science, may be seen as a distinctly Chestertonian effort to determine both the limits and the possibility of knowledge. Dr. Quinn is a Professor of History at Seton Hall University, a member of the Board of Advisors of the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, and Editor of The Chesterton Review. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and New College, Oxford, where he was awarded a doctorate.
  • In "The Thrilling Romance of Orthodoxy and Modern Science," Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D., will explain how Fr. Stanley Jaki's thesis about the birth and limits of modern science provides us with the tools to navigate orthodoxy, of which Chesterton proclaimed "there was never anything so perilous or exciting." Dr. Trasancos, a nationally-recognized author, speaker, and educator on the topic of theology and science, is Adjunct Professor of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall university. She is the Executive Director of the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization and a teaching fellow for Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire Institute.
About Catholic Studies:

The Catholic Studies program at Seton Hall University offers an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum for students of any creed who are interested in deepening their knowledge of Catholicism's rich intellectual tradition and living heritage. Combining the study of history, philosophy, theology, literature, art, sociology, and other disciplines, Catholic Studies focuses on the Church's dialogue with culture and encounter with the world. Students interested in Catholic Studies have the option to pursue a major, minor, or certificate that complements and enhances the university's other degree programs and fields of study. Over 20 years the academic program and its variegated activities have stayed true to and fulfilled the Catholic mission and vision of the University. For more information, please contact Dr. Ines Murzaku at [email protected] or Gloria Aroneo at [email protected].

The G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture

The G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture is located at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J. Founded in 1974 by Father Ian Boyd, C. S. B., its purpose is to promote the thought of G. K. Chesterton and his circle and more broadly, to explore the application of Chestertonian ideas in the contemporary world. The Institute's work consists of conferences, lecture series, research, and writing. The Chesterton Review, founded in 1974, has been widely praised both for its scholarship and for the quality of its writing. The journal was founded by Father Ian Boyd, C. S. B., and is edited by Dr. Dermot Quinn, includes a wide range of articles not only on Chesterton himself, but on the issues close to his heart in the work of other writers and in the modern world. It has devoted special issues to C. S. Lewis, George Bernanos, Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring, Christopher Dawson, Cardinal Manning, the Modernist Crisis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Fantasy Literature, a Special Polish Issue and a Special Charles Dickens issue among others. The Chesterton Review also publishes one annual issue in Spanish and an annual supplement in Portuguese and French. For information about the Institute or The Chesterton Review please contact [email protected] -- website:

For more information, please contact the Program of Catholic Studies at (973) 275-2808 or at [email protected].

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