Borrowing from an expression C S Lewis coined in 1943, some people fear “the abolition of man” is finally here. Others, instead, optimistically argue that man is now at last on the verge of achieving immortality, the culmination of its evolutionary process towards a humanity with no restrictions from matter, from religion, from mythological or unfair moralities. A third group see the very existence of humans as the primary cause of an apocalypse to come: from climate change to global poverty to the destruction of the world. In all three cases, man seems to be afraid of man, of the real man.
John Paul II said, “Christ reveals man to himself” and he would repeat often “I believe in man!” Pope Benedict XVI also placed man at the centre of his pontificate. His appeals to truth, to beauty and to goodness were grounded in the acknowledgement that man is, as the Psalm says, “little less than a god”. That is why he would warn against a relativistic culture that enslaves man. And Pope Francis’ emphasis on mercy, and his challenge to what he calls the “throwaway culture” is, yet again, a call to believe in man, in the real man, created by God and redeemed by His Son.
In this short course we shall attempt to understand the foundations of what some call philosophical anthropology; i.e. a reflection on the nature of man. It is hoped that this will help participants understand the common sources of a few contemporary issues that may look unconnected, or even contradictory: from aggressive environmentalists that see in man a toxic species, to fanatics of neo-liberalism that treat the world as an inexhaustible source of wealth; from the deconstruction of sexual differences and the construction of a never-ending number of so-called genders, to the increasing presence of a pornographic and violent culture; from abortion and euthanasia as supposed manifestations of human freedom, to the fear of immigration or cultural changes.
Dr Jaume Navarro is Ikerbasque Research Professor at the University of the Basque Country. He trained in physics, philosophy and the history of science and has an international research record having spent several years at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the University of Exeter. He is author, among other books, of Ether and Modernity: The recalcitrance of an epistemic object in the early twentieth century (Oxford University Press, 2018) and A History of the Electron: J J and G P Thomson (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He is editor of Science and Faith within Reason (Ashgate Science and Religion Series, 2011).
This weekend seminar is for men and is intended to provide more intense Christian formation than is possible during the rest of the year. It complements the annual retreat in helping you to consolidate your spiritual life and apostolic efforts. It is invaluable in the context of the on-going formation needed by a Christian living in the midst of the world.
The timetable includes presentations, talks on the spiritual life, opportunities for getting together with others, as well as time for walks, sports and relaxation. The atmosphere is friendly and informal.
Friday 29th October 2021 to Sunday 31st October 2021.
It starts at 7:00pm on Friday 29th with a buffet and ends at 5:30pm on Sunday 31st October 2021.
The fee for the weekend seminar is £170.