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Spiritual Practice

October 3, 2018

Andrew Prevot

Image credit: Matt Lipson

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This year’s Catholic Heritage Lectures to explore relationships between spirituality and intellectual life, activism and working on the margins.

This year’s Catholic Heritage Lectures will explore the importance of spiritual practice in advancing the intellectual life, building resilience in the work of activism and advocacy, and cultivating joy when working on the margins. 

Sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC), the 2018-2019 lineup kicks off with Andrew Prevot, who will deliver the fall lecture, “Spiritual Practice and the Intellectual Life” (7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, LeRoux Conference Room)

Spiritual Practice and the Intellectual Life

Prevot is associate professor of systematic theology at Boston College. He has authored Thinking Prayer: Theology and Spirituality Amid the Crises of Modernity(Notre Dame, 2015) and co-edited of Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics (Orbis, 2017) and published numerous articles in journals. His talk at SU is previewed as follows: 

“Modern philosophers have assumed that prayer is an irrational, irresponsible, and immature activity. The history of Christian thought tells a different story. For many of the greatest minds, prayer was absolutely essential to the intellectual life. Prayer assisted the work of reason and revealed its inescapable limits. Prayer helped its practitioners reckon with their ethical responsibilities, personal failures, and highest moral callings. Prayer was a powerful means of individual and communal maturation. Today prayer remains the source of much creative and critical thinking. It continues to give insights relevant to our deepest social crises.” 

In preparation for Prevost’s visit to SU, ICTC Interim Director Pat Howell, S.J., has invited colleagues to participate in a reading group on two chapters from Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics, and two recent articles. Father Howell, by the way, is back at SU after serving on a one-year appointment as interim executive director of Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, Calif.; he is holding ICTC’s directorship while Catherine Punsalan is on sabbatical. 

“I’m delighted to be home,” Fr. Howell reports. “And I’m privileged to pick up the baton this year from the indefatigable Catherine Punsalan, who has devised a rich menu of lectures and events to advance the Catholic intellectual tradition at Seattle University.” 

Prevot’s talk will be followed by winter and spring lectures: 

  • Spiritual Practice and Activism and Advocacy
    Margie Pfeil, Notre Dame
    Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m., LeRoux Room (STCN 160)
  • Spiritual Practices and Working on the Margins
    Greg Boyle, S.J., Homeboy Industries
    Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m., Pigott Auditorium 

Launched in 2010, the annual Catholic Heritage Lectures engage the intellectual and religious communities of the Seattle area and the Seattle University community to explore aspects of the Catholic intellectual tradition and the intersection of Catholicism and culture.

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