Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

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About the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

St. Diego statue Since its inception, the Church has advanced a dialogue between its own faith claims and the intellectual and philosophical traditions of every age in its pursuit of truth about nature, God and what it means to be truly human. The dialogue, which continued and developed in the patristic and monastic periods, was formalized in the university, an institution born from the heart of the Church , which is to say, from the hearts and minds of believers who sought to bring human knowledge and academic rigor to bear on their faith and their faith to bear on human knowledge and culture. This faith-informed inquiry, together with its fruits in the liturgical, intellectual and social life of the Church , constitutes the Roman Catholic tradition, a multifaceted and historically-developing complex of ideas, practices and cultural forms. Today, no less than in the past, Catholic universities have a vital role to play in engaging and questioning this tradition in light of contemporary human concerns and with the same academic rigor and freedom that have characterized and ensured the tradition’s intellectual vigor and depth.

The Center for Catholic Thought and Culture was inaugurated in July 2008 to enable and foster this engagement. Through the development of various programs and events, the Center will provide the University and the local community with opportunities to consider and find enrichment in the intellectual, social, cultural and spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church in which the University of San Diego’s identity is rooted. These traditions are founded on a faith which proclaims the goodness of God, the ground of all that exists; that looks to Jesus as the model of what it means to be authentically human; and that relies on God’s Spirit to enlighten minds and ennoble hearts to pursue whatever is good, just and ordered to the well-being of all creation.

The Center encourages and welcomes the participation of all members of the University community. Your dedication to academic excellence and relentless inquiry, regardless of academic discipline or religious tradition, is not only valued but is essential to the purpose and character of a Catholic university. For more information about the Center, its programs and how you can participate, please contact our department office at cctc@sandiego.edu or call (619)260-7936.