The second installment of the Notre Dame Forum “What do Notre Dame graduates need to know?” evaluated the role of theology at Catholic universities Monday, featuring Huisking professor of theology at Notre Dame Cyril O’Regan and chairwoman of Boston College’s theology department Catherine Cornille.Emmet Farnan | The Observer University President Fr. John Jenkins said he hoped the discussion would emphasize the importance of theology for Notre Dame and inform the University’s decisions during the current curriculum review.“In a sense, as we think about curriculum review, we’re thinking about also the minds and character of the students who graduate,” Jenkins said. “We want them to be people informed by the Christian tradition — theology, as well as people who can intelligently engage in the conversation between faith and reason.”O’Regan said Notre Dame emulates the theological education described in Cardinal Deacon John Henry Newman’s reflections.“Newman’s reflection on the Catholic university especially bears on the inspiration to found the University of Notre Dame,” he said. “Newman and Fr. Sorin knew that the idea of a Catholic university could not be an oxymoron.”O’Regan said although many believe that theological and secular education cannot coexist, it is not only possible but necessary to include both in a Catholic university education.“There was a sense that all forces secular put pressure on the whether and how ‘Catholic’ … and ‘university’ appeared to be in conflict,” he said. “It made the logic that of a zero-sum game – the more of one, the less the other and vice versa. The pressure to pull apart [‘Catholic’] and [‘university’] will intensify and will likely continue to intensify. … Newman thought that the pressure not only had to be resisted, but could be.”Cornille said it is also necessary to teach students about other faith traditions.“I think it’s important for our students to learn how to engage other religious traditions in a constructive way, how to open oneself up to learning from other religious traditions and in turn, reflect constructively on what that means for the Christian faith or for one’s understanding of that particular theological topic,” Cornille said.Cornille said ultimately, Catholic university students must learn how to engage and approach theology as a spiritual pursuit, rather than a simply factual one.“I think we have this challenge to teach theology as a spiritual discipline, to expose our students to the spiritual richness and depth of the tradition to the radicalness of theology,” she said. “Most students don’t regard theology as a radical discipline, but once they are exposed to [it] I think that this could really awaken them in new ways to what theology could mean and how it could contribute to their own lives.”Tags: Catholic university, Notre Dame Forum, What do Notre Dame graduates need to know?
Linden juniors edge East BankTHE Linden East Bank Novices Developmental Challenge, held over the weekend at the Mackenzie High School auditorium, has been deemed a success by organiser Shavin Greene.Greene, who is also the General Secretary of the Linden Table Tennis Committee (LTTC), said it was his idea to pit the two camps together as a means of developing the skills learnt over the last few weeks.According to Greene, the tournament’s aim was to give the locals exposure against players from another area in a competitive environment in order to build the players’ character and to truly measure and evaluate their progress.The competition engaged over 49 students from East Bank and Linden who had participated in summer camps held recently in Linden and East Bank DemeraraA tenacious East Bank team, coached by ITTF Level One coach Candacy McKenzie, ventured up to Linden along with some parents, courtesy of a bus provided by Director of Sport Mr Christopher Jones, following a request of the LTTC.The talent level was truly high and competition for medal positions was immensely fierce. It was truly a joy to see the level of natural talent and potential displayed. In the end Linden emerged victorious.Despite the Linden players dominating the proceedings the tournament was a success for all players and the sport of table tennis.Coach Candacy McKenzie indicated that she would be coming stronger to avenge her loss to Linden in the near future. She felt that the Linden players had a little edge due to their longer period of coaching. Coach Shavin Greene had other ideas as to his team’s success. All in all the concept was a great one.The committee plans to continue engaging players who participated at camps as a means of developing a core group who will become representatives for Linden and ultimately at the national level.