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WEBINAR: Christians in Times of Catastrophe: Augustine's "City of God"

Jun 9, 2020
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Jennifer FreyUniversity of South Carolina

Russell HittingerLumen Christi Institute

Fr. Michael Sherwin, OPUniversity of Fribourg

Cosponsored by America Media, the Collegium Institute, the Saint Benedict Institute, the Beatrice Institute, the Nova Forum, the Harvard Catholic Center, the Institute for Faith and Culture, and the Sacred and Profane Love podcast.

Augustine of Hippo's City of God is one of the great theological books of the Christian tradition, laying out a vision of the Church and the Earthly City in parallel and of Christ's work of salvation in history in the context of the sack of Rome (410) and other calamities. Augustine's reflections on how Christians can understand and respond to catastrophes has become a wellspring in the Christian intellectual tradition and for us responding to todays troubles for the Church and for the world. In this web event, Professor Jennifer Frey (Philosophy, University of South Carolina) will lead a moderated conversation between Professor emeritus Russell Hittinger (Senior Fellow LCI) and Fr Michael Sherwin, O.P. (Theology, University of Fribourg) on Augustine’s context and the continued relevance of his wisdom for Christians in the time of pandemic, economic turmoil, and political and social tumult.

Jennifer Frey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. She was previously a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department. Frey holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology (Routledge, 2018)Her writing has also been featured in First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyPloughThe Point, and USA Today


Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).


Michael S. Sherwin, o.p. is Emeritus Professor of Fundamental Moral Theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and the Alemany Research Fellow at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Berkeley, for academic year 2021/2022.  Author of articles on the psychology of love, virtue ethics and moral development, his monograph, By Knowledge and By Love: Charity and Knowledge in the Moral Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (CUA Press, 2005) has been reissued in paperback, while his collection of essays, On Love and Virtue (Emmaus Academic, 2018) has been described by Alasdair MacIntyre as “theological reflection at its best.”