Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Facing a Secular Age: Notes for the Modern Sceptic

A reader recommended a lecture series to me that I really enjoyed, touching on the relationship between nature and grace, faith and reason, and on the split that happened around the dawn of the Modern Era in the 16th-century.

They were given by Dr. Peter Erb, who was raised in the Mennonite tradition, and later converted to Catholicism, studied as a medievalist, and is a now-retired professor of Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. They were given at St. Jerome's University of the University of Waterloo in January 2010.

He discusses how the so-called "New Atheists" (like Dawkins and Hitchens) are really just a manifestation of the simplistic old atheism (ie, Enlightenment atheism) attacking a Deist or Unitarian God that Christians inadvertently created through rationalism in the early modern age, but who really has nothing to do with the Trinitarian God of Catholicity. He goes on to discuss the role of Cardinal Newman and Vatican II in developing the notion of human dignity in the Church in order to address the real new atheists (the thoughtful, credible atheists, like the non-theist existentialists).

The lectures are available here and are titled, "The New Atheism and the Old Church: A Failing Apologetics," "The Old Agnosticism and the New Church: Making Sense of the Senseless," and "Faith in the Fragments: the God[!] Who Wasn't There."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was present at this series in person. It really was fantastic and edifying for both the intellect and for my faith. I highly recommend that others listen to all three lectures.