Harvard scholar here for inter-religious learning

A call for inter-religious learning as the path to hope, justice and peace is bringing the global authority on  modern comparative theology, Professor Francis X Clooney SJ, to Sydney.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) Executive Dean of Theology and Philosophy, Professor Dermot Nestor, said it is a singular honour to host Professor Clooney, the Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology at Harvard University's Divinity School, and until June this year, director of Harvard’s Centre for the Study of World Religions.

“In his Sydney lecture, Professor Clooney will bring his life-long project of comparative theology into dialogue with Pope Francis’ personal commitment to the principle of integral human development; a call for the coming together of all peoples across the globe as the path to hope, justice and peace,” Professor Nestor said.

“In our increasingly fractured world where debate quickly turns to disagreement, and disagreement to vilification, Professor Clooney’s work illustrates how comparative theology offers much more than a mediating synthesis; comparative theology is a unique resource for remaining faithful to one’s own traditions and perspectives through learning from and in solidarity with others.

“With a specific focus upon one aspect of comparative theology, inter-religious learning, Professor Clooney will explore how different faith perspectives can engage and learn from each other while remaining true to their own beliefs and practices.”

Professor Clooney will discuss relevance of, and contemporary challenges to, the work of inter-religious learning.

In the context of the era of Pope Francis, Professor Clooney said the challenge has been that of relevance, “the obligation to place intellectual work at the service of the poor, in protection of the environment, and toward a promotion of justice and peace.”

“This promises to be a highly engaging address and one that is of particular significance to the times in which we live,” Professor Nestor said.

As another instalment in the ACU Luminaries Series, this will be an important and edifying lecture that resonates with the challenges facing contemporary Australian society.

The ACU Luminaries Series provides each participant with a distinctive experience that is founded upon a conversation between ACU’s heritage in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the challenges of a contemporary world in which our graduates are called to act.

It is this deep sense of engagement, and of commitment, a willingness to shine a light upon rather than shy away from contentious issues, and a willingness to act as a beacon of clarity and of hope in an often confusing world which defines ACU and thus, the Luminaries series which bears its name.

What: Public Lecture – Inter-religious learning in the Papacy of Francis

When: Thursday 27 July 2017 – 6pm for 6.30pm

Where: The Gleeson Auditorium, ACU 25A Barker Road, Strathfield



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