CEPHAS 2017: Faith and Reason

Report on the recent conference at Stone

‘Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta, in the poetry of Homer, in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives’ (Fides et ratio, 1998)

CEPHAS 2017 gave a space to step back and reflect together on these human questions and desires: we explored, at first with St Thomas Aquinas and afterwards with Pope St.John Paul II in ‘Fides et ratio@ (Faith & Reason) how Christianity responds to our human capacities to love and to know, to desire happiness and to seek the truth.

In addition to philosophy and theology workshops, Fr Martin Ganeri O.P set out – in the keynote lecture – a basis for Thomistic engagement with other religions today.

Overall there were 7 participants, all very appreciative – see comments below:


 It was a weekend that opened philosophy and St Thomas Aquinas to me.  Thank you very much for a thought provoking time. JE

The course was a delight.  Our lectures could not have been better in that he (Dr.Corbett) was articulate and easy to follow and generous with his knowledge and went to great trouble to include all of us.  I was the only ‘cradle Catholic’ of the group, so I was with people who thought rather deeply about Faith. One of them was Muslim. ………..We studied Catholic Faith, starting with St Thomas Aquinas, in relation to philosophy and other religions and how they are so helpful to us, using St John Paul’s encyclical ‘Faith and Reason’.  MB

 Very pleasant experience, specially the companionship of the group and their opinions and how they think about their Faith.  FV

The dovetailing of philosophy and theology worked extremely well.  Having excerpts from a recent encyclical was especially helpful.  PR

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