The Main Challenges for Renewing our Culture

May 2019

During the 2019 ICUSTA Biennial Conference in Houston, the distinguished Professor Tracey Rowland of the University of Notre Dame Australia gave a well-received lecture entitled, “The Main Challenges for Renewing our Culture”.

Professor Rowland holds two doctorates in theology, one from the Divinity School of Cambridge University and one from the John Paul II Institute at the Pontifical Lateran University, in addition to degrees in law and philosophy. She is currently a member of the International Theological Commission.

Inspiring her listeners to begin the work of “picking up the shards” of civilization, Dr Rowland elucidated four areas where damage has been done and suggested the forms that reconstruction could take. The Thomist tradition consistently appeared as a firm pillar in the work therein.

The first challenge that she proposed was to reconstruct the understanding of the analogy of being and the grammar of sacramentality throughout talented writers who could portray these ideas in a literary form. The second “construction site” indicated by Rowland involves rebuilding the links between moral theology and sacramental, dogmatic and soteriological theologies. The third area demands restoring confidence in the notion of truth “in a sophisticated way”, not with apologetical syllogisms but with the support of contemporary theologians and Christian scientists. The fourth and last challenge should be to overcome the current separation of theology from philosophy in order to present a reintegrated Catholic intellectual tradition.

The complete text of the lecture can be read here below.