Spring Non-Credit Course | Shame, Suffering, and the Scandal of the Cross

May 16, 2023
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJLumen Christi Institute

Tuesdays, March 28-May 16
6:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Presentation


This event is in-person only. Intended for university students and recent graduates. Others interested in attending please contact

Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.

The human experiences of suffering, shame, and evil are assaults on our deepest desire for happiness.   The atrocities that darken human history, especially the Holocaust, and disasters like the recent earthquakes in Turkey & Syria call into question the Christian belief in God’s Providence.  Correspondingly, Christ’s public passion and tortured death have always been a scandal to human reason (St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 1:18-25).  Nevertheless,  Christian faith proclaims that the Cross of Christ has saved us (Ibid., 15:3-5). 

This Lumen Christi Institute spring quarter class will consider the redemptive ‘causality’ of the cross, its relationship to our own experiences of suffering, and the credibility of the claim of Christ’s bodily resurrection. 



March 28: The Evil of Auschwitz, the Scandal of the Cross, and the Death of God

April 4: Things aren’t the way they are supposed to be: the Fall and the Need for Salvation.

April 11: The Cross of Christ: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

April 18: The Saving Efficacy of the Cross of Christ: the Eastern Christian Tradition

April 25: The Saving Efficacy of the Cross of Christ: the Western Christian Tradition

May 2: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Linchpin of Hope for the Victory of Good over Evil.

May 9: The Shroud of Turin: Photographic negative of a tortured, crucified man: Artifact of the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ?

May 16: Living the Paschal Mystery: “This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.” [2 Timothy 2:11]

Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJ is scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute and Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University of Chicago, where he taught from 2010 to 2020. Before coming to Chicago he taught at Loyola University New Orleans from 1996 to 2010. Fr. Bernardi holds an Honors B.A. in Classical Languages from Xavier University (Cincinnati), an MA in Philosophy from the University of Detroit, a Master of Divinity from Regis College of the Toronto School of Theology, an STL from the Weston School of Theology with a thesis concerning soteriology, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

His areas of interest include modern Christian thought; John Henry Newman, Maurice Blondel, and the Renewal of Catholic Theology; Theology of Vatican II; Christology & Soteriology. He is the author of Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française: The Clash over the Church’s Role in Society During the Modernist Era (CUA Press, 2009).  His most recent scholarly publications are "Blondel, Maurice (1861–1949)" in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers (2020), "Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J. (1846–1931): Thomist, Anti-Modernist, Integralist" in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (2021): 585-616, and "Maurice Blondel's diagnosis of extrinsicist 'Monophorism': An enduring critique of Christian Integralism," in Pesando-Revista de Filosofia. Vol 13, No 30 (2022) Dossie Maurice Blondel, 100-113.