2008
Oxford lecturer, Dominican scholar headlines lecture series

Oxford lecturer, Dominican scholar headlines lecture series
March 19, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

George Keith “G.K.” Chesterton was a prolific English critic and author of verse, essays, novels and short stories. Chesterton ranked with George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells among the most celebrated writers of his time. He is probably best known for his series about the priest-detective Father Brown who appeared in 50 stories. Between 1900 and 1936, Chesterton published 100 books. But after converting from Anglican in 1922, Chesterton’s energy turned toward defending Catholicism. Chesterton argued against all the trends that eventually took over the 20th century: materialism, scientific determinism, moral relativism and agnosticism. He also argued that socialism and capitalism are enemies of freedom and justice in modern society. “G.K. Chesterton’s Discovery of Metaphysical Realism” is the topic of a lecture that will be presented by Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., a renowned theologian, author and John Paul II Memorial Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford, at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9 in Birck Hall Room 112 at Benedictine University. The lecture is the first in a series at Benedictine University titled “Theology in Life” which focuses on theology for lay people and how they can relate that theology to their lives in the workplace, civil society, political society and family. In his lecture on Chesterton and metaphysical realism, Nichols will highlight the interdisciplinary nature of Catholic intellectual life which recognizes the importance of faith and reason. Metaphysical realism is a philosophical cornerstone of Catholic thinking. The lecture is also about Chesterton, a man known as a writer and journalist, who took his faith to the marketplace and defended it with wit, reason and humor. Finally, Nichols will discuss how divine revelation emerges in human experience and thought, manifesting truth, goodness and beauty. Nichols was born in 1948 at Lytham St. Anne's, England and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oxford University. He entered the Dominican order in 1970 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976. He has lectured at Cambridge University and was the Robert Randall Distinguished Professor in Christian Culture at Providence College (Rhode Island). In 2003, the Master of the Order of Preacher (Dominicans) conferred the degree “Sacrae Theologiae Magister” (Master of Sacred Theology) on Nichols. The Master of Sacred Theology is the highest canonical degree in theology. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies at Benedictine University and St. Procopius Abbey. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Christine M. Fletcher, Ph.D, at (630) 829-6263 or by e-mail at cfletcher@ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.