Sonal Castelino

Faith and reason meet on campus

  • September 19, 2014

TORONTO - A new lecture series hopes to channel Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman and advance his efforts to combine faith and reason on campus. 

Called the Faith and Reason Lecture Series, it launches Oct 2 at The Newman Centre at the University of Toronto. 

“In the past, we have had annual Cardinal Newman Lectures, but this year we are adding three more lectures in the areas of bioethics, theology and law, and politics,” said Sonal Castelino. 

Castelino is associate director of formation and programs at the Newman Centre. She organized the series to reflect student interest and major academic fields at the downtown campus. Cardinal Newman advocated for the formation of the intellect, the spirit and the human, she says, and that is what this series hopes to accomplish for students. 

“Faith and reason are very important. They are also interrelated. One cannot have true faith without reason or true reason without faith. 

“Cardinal Newman worked hard to form his students in both faith and reason,” she said. “This interdisciplinary lecture series is evidence to show students how what they learn and their personal faith are integrated.” 

Cardinal Thomas Collins of the Archdiocese of Toronto will give the first lecture, titled “Cardinal Newman’s Thought on Sensus Fidelium.” 

Sensus Fidelium in Latin literally means the sense of the faithful. The term refers to an appreciation of the faith and one’s consent and understanding of the Church’s universal teaching in faith and morals,” Castelino said. “So based on revelation — both from scripture and tradition — any Christian, through the grace of the Holy Spirit is able to express consent on the teachings of the Church.” 

Moral theologian Dr. Moira McQueen will give a bioethics lecture on the Formation of Conscience in Medical Professionals on Dec. 11. The series continues on Jan. 28, 2015 with Salt + Light CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica speaking on Theology of the Family. It concludes on Mar. 19 when television host Lorna Dueck will moderate a panel discussion on The Vocation of a Christian in Politics. 

“These talks will expose students and Catholics to a manner in which one’s faith and intellect can be integrated. It is also a way to meet other like-minded people and hear what popular intellectuals in these various fields have to say in integrating faith and reason,” Castelino said. 

“Our hope at the Newman Centre is to show students that their faith should not just be a part of who they are, but that it is in everything they do — studies, social life, etc.” 

All lectures are free and begin at 7 p.m. at 89 St. George Street. For more information, visit www. 

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