Report from CEPHAS 2017

CEPHAS 2017: Faith and Reason

 Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta […] in the poetry of Homer […] in the philosphical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives’ (Fides et ratio, 1998)

CEPHAS 2017 gave a space to step back and reflect together on these human questions and desires: we explored how Christianity responds to our human capactiies to love and to know, to desire happiness and to seek the truth.

In addition to philosophy and theology workshops, Fr Martin Ganeri set out – in the keynote lecture  – a basis for Thomistic engagement with other religions today.

Participants commented:

‘It was a weekend which opened philosophy and St Thomas Aquinas to me. Thank you very much for a thought provoking time’

‘We studied Catholic faith starting with St Thomas Aquinas in relation to philosophy and other religions, and how these are so helpful to us using Pope JPII’s encyclical Fides et ratio.’

‘The atmosphere created by the convent and particularly Sr Valery was very happy. It is a lovely thing to live with Sisters and join with them in their monastic prayers throughout the day.’

‘This course was a delight. Our lecturer could not have been better, in that he was articulate and easy to follow and generous with his knowledge, and went to great trouble to include all of us’

‘This was my first encounter with Aquinas study. I enjoyd the venue, the shared experience, and the teaching’

‘The dovetailing of philosophy and theology worked extremely well. Having input from a recent encyclical was especially helpful’.