Faith & Reason Series: Cathonomics & Integral Ecology

“The main tenets of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those who it would seem meant to benefit, and is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind; “once the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, the rest that one owns belongs to the poor, and “based on a purely economic conception of man, the system of neoliberalism considers profit and the law of the market as its only parameters, to the detriment of the dignity of and the respect due to individuals and peoples.” From the beginnings of Catholic Social Teaching to today, the church has never shied away from criticizing the failings of economic and environmental ideologies, from socialism to capitalism, and others that lie in between. In this Faith & Reason event, economist, and advisor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Anthony Annett, will share the richness of Catholic social thought on economics and the environment, showing how it transcends the secular ideologies that surround us. Moderated by Peter Copeland of Catholic Conscience and the St. Monica’s Institute, on behalf of the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto.

Faith & Reason Series: The False, Bad, and Ugly: Looking for Faith and Beauty in Movies and other Dark Mirrors

Professor Randy Boyagoda argues that the great interest, in recent years, in horror movies is indicative of a suppressed but enduring desire for faith and beauty. Situating his discussion in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition, Professor Boyagoda makes a case for how to best cultivate an openness to the transcendent in mundane times. Hosted by Peter Copeland of Catholic Conscience and the St. Monica Institute.

Faith & Reason Series: Building & Sustaining Supportive Networks & Relationships

Building & maintaining supportive relationships & networks. It is both easier and more difficult than ever before to build and sustain friendships and community in our time. A panel of committed, Catholic young adult professionals, including a young resident physician, a lawyer, an academic, a communications specialist, and a governmental policy analyst, look at ways of building supportive personal and professional communities in a splintered and aggressively secular world. We’ll assess the factors behind this status quo and discuss ways of staying better connected in an era of ‘disconnected connectivity’.

Hosted by Peter Copeland, animator for Catholic Conscience.


  • Brendan Steven – Executive Director Emeritus of Catholic Conscience, current Animator with Catholic Conscience, and Chief Writer for the United Jewish Appeal (UJA)
  • Maria Lucas – Lawyer, Co-Founder & Secretary of the Indigenous Catholic Research Fellowship (ICRF)
  • Samantha Rossi – Family Medicine Resident Doctor in Toronto Peter Copeland – Host, Policy Advisor in the Ontario Government

Faith & Reason Lecture: Contemplation In Community As Reason For Hope

Writers from St. Augustine of Hippo to Jane Austen have represented men and women together observing the natural world and thus being lifted into edifying conversation. In his Confessions St. Augustine recalls standing at a window overlooking a garden in Rome and speaking with his mother St. Monica until they are drawn from God’s “works” to contemplating eternal “Wisdom”. In Austen’s novel Mansfield Park, the Oxford theology student Edmund Bertram stands gazing out a window with his cousin Fanny Price, until she declares there would be less “wickedness and sorrow” in the world if more people attended to “the sublimity of nature”. These two scenes, one historical and one imagined, suggest men and women may be lifted together into theological and ethical forms of discourse by looking beyond themselves, out of windows, onto the beauty of Creation. Situated as we are, in the twenty-first century, how could we emulate the humble, receptive, and dialogic posture of St. Monica, as remembered by her son, or of Fanny Price, as imagined by Austen? I initially learnt the practice of collaborative speaking, writing, and editing in a graduate seminar on Virginia Woolf at the University of Toronto. The experience yielded my first academic publication: a book chapter co-authored with five other people. In my own journey as an academic, which ultimately led me into the Catholic Church, I have continued to engage in very collaborative forms of scholarship. My lecture will share some of these concrete experiences of contemplation in community as reason for hope.

About Professor Duquette

Dr. Natasha Duquette is author of 30-Day Journey with Jane Austen (Fortress Press, 2020) and is currently serving as editor-in-chief for The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Romantic-Era Women’s Writing (Palgrave MacMillan), which is a collaborative project involving writers based in universities around the globe. She is also author of Veiled Intent (Pickwick, 2016), co-editor of Jane Austen and the Arts: Elegance, Propriety, and Harmony (Lehigh University Press, 2013), and editor of Sublimer Aspects: Interfaces between Literature, Aesthetics, and Theology (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). For the Chawton House Library series, she produced the first annotated, scholarly edition of Helen Maria Williams’s Julia, a novel interspersed with poetical pieces (Routledge, 2009). Her articles have appeared in the journals Persuasions, English Studies in Canada, Christianity and Literature, Notes and Queries, Mosaic, and Women’s Writing. She has contributed essays to multiple collections, including Through a Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime in Literature and Theory (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010) and Art and Artifact in Austen (University of Virginia Press, 2020). Her research has been supported by fellowships from SSHRC, Chawton House, and Gladstone’s Library. Before coming to Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College, she taught full-time at the Royal Military College of Canada, Biola University in Southern California, and Tyndale University in Toronto, where she also served as Associate Dean of undergraduate studies for four years. She is an adult convert to the Catholic faith who was drawn to the Church by the sustaining peace she found in the mass and by the magisterium’s commitment to the beauty, goodness, and truth of the gospel. Dr. Duquette enjoys teaching courses on eighteenth-century satire, aesthetics, Jane Austen, African literature, and Indigenous writers of North America.

Faith & Reason Lecture Series with Rod Dreher

Live Not By Lies – impending ‘Soft Totalitarianism’ in the west? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once noted that people often assume that their democratic government would never submit to totalitarianism—but Dreher says it’s happening. Sounding the alarm about the insidious effects of identity politics, surveillance technology, psychological manipulation, and more, he equips people to see, judge, and act in response to contemporary circumstances.

About Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Leming—as well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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