COME LEARN WITH US.

In our educational program we seek to explore the resources of the Christian Tradition and draw on critical scholarship in order to understand contemporary cultural change and address shared human questions in ways that enrich and challenge the university community. Our educational initiatives cover a broad range of issues, but we focus on several areas of inquiry that play a crucial role in modern culture.

TECHNOLOGY & THE HUMAN

CREATION CARE & SUSTAINABILITY

CREATIVITY & THE ARTS

SELF & SOCIETY

FAITH & VOCATION

HIGHER EDUCATION & THE UNIVERSITY

In addition to our lectures, classes, reading groups, publications, and podcast, the Study Center hosts Pascal’s Coffeehouse, an expression of Christian hospitality and an embodiment of the Christian understanding we seek to explore as a Study Center. 

 

LECTURES

Fall 2022

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Monday, September 19th | Reception 6:45 p.m | Lecture 7:15 p.m. | CSC Classroom

LESSONS FROM HIPPO: READING AUGUSTINE'S CITY OF GOD IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Professor Michael Allen, Reformed Theological Seminary

Join us as we welcome Dr. Michael Allen, professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, for a reception and evening lecture on the contemporary  significance of St. Augustine's City of God

Description: The glorious city of Rome was invaded in August 410, leading to a new sense of vulnerability and an unsettled posture toward the future. Augustine wrote The City of God to respond to non-Christians regarding widely-circulating criticisms ofChristianity and also to school Christians about how to bear up in the tumults of turbulent times. We do well to learn from both of those aims as we think about apologetics and about discipleship in similarly turbulent times of crisis.

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Thursday, October 13th at 7:00 p.m.| CSC Classroom

RETHINKING SEX: A PROVOCATION

Christine Emba, Washinton Post 

Reaching back to the wisdom of thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Andrea Dworkin, and drawing from sociological studies, interviews with college students, and poignant examples from her own life, Emba calls for a more humane philosophy, one that starts with consent but accounts for the very real emotional, mental, social, and political implications of sex—even, she argues, if it means saying no to certain sexual practices or challenging societal expectations altogether.

 

Christine Emba is a columnist for The Washington Post writing about ideas and society. Prior, she was the Hilton Kramer Fellow in Criticism at the New Criterion and a deputy editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, focusing on technology and innovation.

Digital social media

Thursday, November 3rd at 7:00 p.m.| CSC Classroom

RE-VISITING DIGITAL EFFICACY: REDEEMING PUBLIC DISCOURSE IN AN AGE OF EXPEDIENCE

Dr. Stephanie Bennett, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Civility is not about being “nice.” It involves clearer, deeper understanding of who we are and how we envision our world. Since the emergence of Web 2.0 the interactivity of the Internet has connected us more quickly and broadly to our neighbors than at any other time in the history of civilization, yet our communication practices have suffered increasingly. Social Media create an environment that allow for new opportunities to be neighborly but have also opened the door to the worst in human behavior. While there is no easy fix for our broken and polarized public sphere, there is a grounding, a wealth of best practices, and hope for humanity in this digital age.

 

Dr. Bennett is Professor of Communication and Media Ecology at Palm Beach Atlantic University in South Florida, where for nearly 20 years she has been teaching, writing, and mentoring undergraduate students. There she also directs Wordship, an initiative that seeks to set the pace for healing a polarized public.

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Thursday, November 10th at 7:00 p.m.| CSC Classroom

A ROMAN CHRISTIAN LAUGHS AT DEATH: GAMES AT PLAY ON A SARCOPHAGUS

Linda Fuchs

What do the designs of a famous 3rd-century Roman sarcophagus tell us about Christian attitudes toward death? The “Jonah sarcophagus” features biblical texts, early Christian writings, plus Roman essays on astronomy and on how humor works in language. Of the rhetorician Quintilian’s 35 ways to build verbal humor, 12 appear on the sarcophagus. The designs also suggest­­­ games such as rebus, crossword, or even ‘peek-a-boo’ to perceive the shape and names of “invisible” constellations when “invisibility” was understood to be an attribute of the pre-incarnate Logos. Constellation names then circle back to verbal wordplay. All of which leads us to ask, Why create such elaborate games in connection with death? Who could laugh at death? 

 

Linda Fuchs is a research art historian focusing on early Christian art. Her academic background comes through Wheaton College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the University of Chicago, and Cornell University.

 

CLASSES

Fall 2022

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Wednesdays starting September 14th at 11:45 a.m. | CSC Classroom

Director's Class — Michael Sacasas   

It's taken for granted that we live in an age of distraction and that our capacity for attention has suffered as a result. Digital media and digital devices usually get the blame for this state of affairs. But is this the whole story? If so, why do worries about attention date back to at least the 19th century? Why do we feel ourselves to be uniquely distracted? And, more importantly, why does it matter? Is attention merely an intellectual problem, or does it have moral and spiritual dimensions as well? To what ought we be paying attention, and how? How can we properly attend to the world in a way that cultivates care and empowers action?

 

With the help of Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, Iris Murdoch, Josef Pieper, and Blaise Pascal among others, we will consider these questions and more as we think about one of the most vital issues confronting those who seek to live well in the present age.

Lunch provided. 

READING GROUPS

Fall 2022

 
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Beginning Wednesday, September 7th | 7:30 a.m.

Michael Sacasas  |   CSC Classroom 

Iris Murdoch was among the handful of mid-20th century philosophers who helped revive the discipline of moral philosophy. And she was also an accomplished novelist.

 

Both her intellectual and aesthetic gifts are on display in the collection of essays titled The Sovereignty of Good. Murdoch presents readers with arguments for the substantive nature of the good, the value of attention, and the importance of cultivating our moral vision. Although written several decades ago, the essays can be read as powerful and eloquent antidotes to the disorders of our own distracted age.

The group will meet on September 7th, September 21st, October 5th, October 19th, November 2nd at 7:30 a.m. Coffee provided!

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Beginning Tuesday, September 13th | Noon

Kevin Nelson  |  CSC Classroom 

Kevin Nelson, a local pastor and New Testament scholar, will be leading a group reading through the 20th-century theologian Lesslie Newbigin's timely book, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Newbigin, through his missionary work in South India, anticipated the crisis of pluralism while the West was still predominately Christian. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society is essential reading for anyone who wants to share the gospel confidently and compassionately in the modern world.

 

The group will meet on September 13th and 27th and October 11th and 25th at noon in the Study Center classroom. Feel free to bring your lunch. Coffee will be provided. 

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Beginning Thursday, September 22nd | 5:10 p.m.

Michael O'Malley | CSC Classroom

Michael O'Malley, a university lecturer and Study Center board member, will be leading a group through selections from the rich tradition of Irish poetry.

 

Ireland’s poetry is known for its masterful interweaving of the natural and spiritual worlds and for its nuanced treatments of beauty and sorrow. Among the ranks of Irish poets are some of the most influential writers in the English language: Yeats, Heaney, Boland, to name just a few. In this group, we will read an array of Irish poems - some classic, some contemporary - with the aim of exploring their depths together.

The group will meet on September 22nd, October 6th and 20th, and November 10th at 5:10 p.m. in the Study Center Classroom. Coffee provided. 

 

PODCAST

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:

A PODCAST OF THE CHRISTIAN

STUDY CENTER

Staff

If you've not done so already, take a moment and subscribe to our podcast here. You can peruse past installments here. We use the podcast to post audio from program content and also occasional interviews with guest scholars and writers. 

The podcast is also available on the following podcast listening apps:

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GRADUATE ROUNDTABLE

Fall 2022

Image by Kelsey Chance

TBD

GRADUATE ROUNDTABLE

Brent Henderson  |  Henderson's home

A reading group for graduate students led by Brent Henderson, Associate Professor of Linguistics at UF. The group is hosted by the Hendersons at their home and gathers around food and conversation. 

Please email the Study Center for details.