Faculty Dinner Talks Fall-2017

Fall Faculty Dinner Talks

Faculty dinner talks provide an opportunity for local scholars to share aspects of their research and writing that can help all Cal students better understand and pursue an academic vocation. Dinners begin at 6pm. Please RSVP on Facebook or to events@binst.org
Prof. Richard Weikart

Prof. Richard Weikart

CSU Stanislaus - History

Wednesday, September 13th

“Christian Responses to Tyranny: Lessons from 20th-Century Europe”

Prof. Louise A. Mozingo

Prof. Louise A. Mozingo

UC Berkeley - Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning

Tuesday, October 10th

“Architecture, Meaning, and the Urban Landscape”

Prof. Patrick Downey

Prof. Patrick Downey

St. Mary's College – Philosophy

Thursday, October 26th

“Authority and the Image of God”

Prof. Ted Peters

Prof. Ted Peters

Graduate Theological Union

Thursday, November 9th

“Transhumanism as a New Religious Movement”

The Problem of Female Spirituality

The Problem of Female Spirituality

Public discourse has long considered the Catholic Church as a vehicle for the subjugation of women. For this reason, feminist spirituality is widely thought to be necessarily subversive of traditional Christian teachings, perhaps even inherently unorthodox. This seminar will call into question both of these assumptions by exploring a space for feminist theology and spirituality within the Church. We will read excerpts from the writings of Edith Stein and John Paul II, both of whom are considered as among the foremost feminist Catholic theologians of the 20th century. This class will be taught by Kathleen Powers and Alexandra McCleary. For more information or to receive the readings, please contact alexandra.mccleary@gmail.com.

Dates: Tuesday evenings on 6.6, 6.13, 6.20

Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Reading Schedule:

6.6: John Paul II,  “Letter to Women” and excerpts of Mulieris Dignitatem.
6.13: Edith Stein, “The Ethos of Women’s Professions”
6.20: Edith Stein, “The Separate Vocations of Man and Woman According to Nature and Grace”

This seminar will be taught by Alexandra McCleary and Kathleen Powers.

Movies With St. Thomas Aquinas

Watching Movies with St. Thomas Aquinas

Ludwig Wittgenstein said there was more wisdom in detective stories than in philosophy journals, but he might have mentioned movies too. Movies conform to life-as-lived more readily than ethical theories, and the study of cinematic stories can advance our understanding of morality in ways that the study of philosophy cannot. This seminar mines the ethical heart of four films and connects their themes to St. Thomas Aquinas’s teachings on the virtues of faith, hope, and love. Students will learn how plot design, visual design, and sound design not only convey thematic material–but how these same techniques might also help us better understand the virtuous life. Seminars will last from 7:00-9:30pm. Selections from Josef Pieper’s Faith, Hope, and Love will be discussed. To receive copies of the readings, please contact info@binst.org.

May 18: The Book of Eli: Faith v. Blindness of Mind
June 1: Good Will Hunting: Faith v. Unbelief
June 15: Shawshank Redemption: Hope v. Despair
June 29: Mean Girls: Charity v. Discord

All class readings taken from Josef Pieper, Faith, Hope and Love

This seminar will be taught by Caleb Brown, Screenwriter and CEO at The Story Locker

Spring ’17 Faculty Dinner Talks

Go to Page Announcement

Tuesday, February 14th: “The Origins of the Big Bang” by  Prof. Karl van Bibber (UC Berkeley – Nuclear Physics)

Tuesday, March 7th:  “Citizenship and the Limits of Empathy” by Prof. Kathleen Peterson (UC Davis – English)

Tuesday, April 18th: “The Fate of Beauty in Modern Music” by  Prof. George Barth (Stanford University – Music)

The Metaphysics of Goodness

How might assuming the best help us understand the world? According to Gottfried Leibniz, the world is most rationally explained by assuming that all things are ordered with an eye towards what is good and even best. Things happen for a good reason—not only human actions, but events in the natural world as well. This seminar will introduce students to the metaphysics of Leibniz, a field of study that seeks to explain the ultimate nature of reality. We will read selections from his Discourse on Metaphysics and his Monadology. Our goal will be to see how Leibniz’s approach to the deepest questions of philosophy might help us better understand the nature of God, the world, and our place in it.

Dates: Wednesday evenings on 4.5, 4.12, 4.19, 4.26.

Time: 5:30-7:00

Readings: For a free copy of the book, please contact director@binst.org


April 5: Discourse on Metaphysics, p. 1-21 (sect. 1-18)
April 12: Discourse on Metaphysics, p. 21-41 (sect. 19-37)
April 19: Monadology, p. 68-81
April 26:  Discourse, paragraphs 10, 17-22, 32-36. Monadology, paragraphs 8-12, 56-62.