The Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies is being revitalized and renewed at Newman University. Founded in 1995, the institute was named for the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, in recognition and appreciation of his many contributions to the diocese.
Since its inception, The Gerber Institute has seen many changes. However, 2009 is serving as the year of renewal and rebirth for the center as it continues, now more than ever, to strengthen the Catholic identity of Newman University and to promote scholarly work in the area of Catholic studies.
According to Dr. Jamey Findling, Ph.D., assistant professor of Philosophy and director of the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies, the focus of The Gerber Institute for the upcoming year centers on the theme of reconciliation. In a world torn by strife and conflict, we urgently need to reflect on how to bring people together, said Findling. What better topic than that of reconciliation and peace?
Subsequent themes, to be chosen biennially, will enable the institute to promote interdisciplinary dialogue exploring Catholic thought and practice in the diverse realms of educational, philosophical, political, social and cultural life. Consistent with its interest in fostering dialogue and critical thought, the Institute will embark on a variety of activities and events designed to engage the Newman community along with a broader public audience.
Our intent is to serve both the university and the wider public as a regional center for the exploration of Catholic thought and practice, said Dr. Findling. The Institute looks forward to serving the community as an important partner in promoting interdisciplinary dialogue bringing Catholic thought and practice to bear on topics of public concern. Our aim is to foster the sort of dialogue that is, we feel, most proper to a Catholic institution of higher learning: rigorous without being rigid, respectful without being uncritical, and inclusive in both the ecumenical and the interdisciplinary senses of the word.
For more information about The Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies at Newman University, visit www.gerberinstitute.org.
Printed with permission from the Catholic Advance, newspaper from the Diocese of Wichita.