Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture

Current Conversations

The Catholic Imagination: Co-presented with Image 


Over the course of the spring quarter, the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture is pleased to offer a series of events centering on the theme of the Catholic Imagination. This is a topic that has wide-ranging implications, not only in the realm of literature and the arts but across the disciplines and throughout public life.

The history of the Church's artistic heritage, from paintings in the catacombs to the Sistine Chapel and beyond, is incredibly rich, but is it a thing of the past or does it have continuing relevance for a diverse, postmodern society? Are there aspects of the Catholic imagination that can still shape the way we make culture, form public policy, and pursue justice and peace?

The events that ICTC will present in the spring quarter will address these questions directly, in the spirit of what Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium: that every attempt to speak about the Catholic vision "would do well to attend to the 'way of beauty' (via pulchritudinis).... We must be bold enough to discover new signs and new symbols, new flesh to embody and communicate the word, and different forms of beauty which are valued in different cultural settings, including those unconventional modes of beauty which may mean little to the evangelizers, yet prove particularly attractive for others."


Upcoming Events:

The Denise Levertov Award with 2016 honoree Dana Gioia
May 11, 2016
7:00 PM, Pigott Auditorium

Dana Gioia, Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California, poet laureate of California, and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, will be honored. He will read his poetry and offer reflections on the Catholic imagination.


Shouts or Whispers?: The Catholic Literary Imagination Then & Now
May 26, 2016 
7:00 PM, LeRoux, STCN 160

Wolfe, ICTC Consultant and editor of Image, will trace key literary figures within the Catholic tradition, how they have influenced his development as a writer and their importance today.

Teaching Together, Learning Together: The Encylical Comes to Life

In a new, team-taught course, THRS/STM 3910-02 Earth Spirituality & Justice, students discuss Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis’ new encyclical, and its implications for our world today. To engage with scholarship and discussions beyond the classroom, students also attend the ICTC’s Catholic Heritage Lectures, tying the letter to questions of water access, indigenous peoples’ rights, cosmology, ecological sin, and globalism.

Co-taught by ICTC Director Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, Psychology Professor and Chair of Catholic Studies Le Xuan Hy, Associate Drean of Academic Affairs in the School of Theology and Ministry Faustino Cruz, and Campus Ministry for Liturgy Bob Stephan, S.J., the course has become a place for students to weigh diverse perspectives and some of today’s most pressing concerns.

"The course inspired me to change not only the way I approach religious dialogue, but also renewed my sense of oneness between all humans and the earth. I now confidently approach environmental and political differences with an open heart, and have begun to create ways we can heal the planet by healing ourselves."
—Ashley Haynes-Gibson, Class of 2016, Psychology

"This course has meant that I would have the ability to come together with a group of people diverse in age, area of study, and standpoint in life to speak of issues mentioned in the encyclical Laudato Si’, which not only addresses but affects every person in the planet. The opportunity to come together with such a diverse group […] has inspired me to seek this kind of dialogue with others so we may be more interconnected as the encyclical calls for."
—Tiffany Leal 

"This course has inspired me to change my life in big ways, illustrating the tangible and concrete ways in which all things are profoundly connected, the ways individual small actions interact with the world, and the ways technology can interfere with that interaction. As a result, I've made a move to being more conscious of the ways that I use digital technology, with an aim of lessening my dependence upon it and perhaps inspiring others to desire the same."
—Fred Seymour, Class of 2018, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music Emphasis


Sr. Ilia Delio & Climate Change

Miss our Oct. 15 Catholic Heritage Lecture? Or want to learn more about Sr. Ilia Delio's perspectives on Laudato Si' and current conversations on ecological justice? Visit The Commons to read more.


Fr. Pat Howell's Reflection on Pope Francis' U.S. Visit

"Pope Francis Meets the American Catholic Church," by Fr. Pat Howell, S.J., ICTC Distinguished Professor in Residence, in America magazine, part of their issue dedicated to the visit.


Fr. Pat Kelly, S.J., Editor of New Book on Sport & Spirituality

In this innovative look at the issues and opportunities facing young athletes and families, Fr. Pat Kelly brings together diverse Catholic perspectives and invites us to consider the developmental and spiritual dimensions of sport. Check out The Commons to read more.