Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Expert Look at the Church Fathers

St Augustine of Hippo at his desk
The second lecture in our spring series, coinciding with the Year of Faith, will focus on the pivotal place of the Fathers of the Church in helping to form and articulate the faith of the early Church.

The lecture takes place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 19th March in the library.

Our speaker, Finbarr Clancy S.J., emphasizes that, in a time where we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, we do well to remember Pope John XXIII's advocacy of returning to the sources of Christian tradition, as well as reading the signs of the times in the light of the gospel. The Fathers have always been a fertile source of inspiration for all that is best in theology and the life of the Church.

Fr Clancy is currently Professor of Theology at the Milltown Institute in Dublin, where he also serves as Rector of the Ecclesiastical Faculty and Acting President. He has also lectured on Patristics in St Patrick's College, Maynooth. He acts as Chairperson of the Patristric Symposium, an interdisciplinary group of scholars who meet regularly to discuss the Church Fathers and organise seminars and conferences on Patristic studies.

Fr Clancy has published widely on Patristic topics. He devoted two studies to the Church Fathers on the Eucharist in connection with last year's International Eucharistic Congress, held in Dublin. He is particularly interested in the Latin Fathers such as Cyprian, Augustine and Ambrose, and in the liturgical poetry of St Ephrem the Syrian. He lectures in Patristics, sacramental theology and systematic theology, and maintains a keen interest in ecumenical dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

In tandem with the lecture, our honorary librarian Peter Costello has organised an exhibition presenting the work of the Church Fathers in word and image.  The exhibition can be viewed during library opening hours: 11am-6pm (Monday to Friday) and 11am-5.30pm (Saturday).

For those interested in exploring the thought of the  Fathers, the library holds a rich collection of Patrisitic writings,  including the ongoing series of new English translations published by the Catholic University of America Press.

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