The Theology Institute at Villanova University: A Forum for Faith and Culture
The Theology Institute was launched in 1967 as a forum for distinguished scholars to take up the Second Vatican Council’s mandate of bringing the church into dialogue with the contemporary world. In its first two years the Institute brought together outstanding scholars and leaders of the immediate post-Vatican II years, including Cardinal Bernard Alfrink, Walter Burghardt, Avery (now Cardinal) Dulles, Bernard Häring, Jaroslav Pelikan, Alexander Schmemann, Piet Schoonenberg, and Krister Stendahl, to name but a few.
In subsequent years the Institute sponsored symposia on a variety of theological themes such as hope, eschatology, the Church, human experience and faith, spirituality, ministry, sacraments, Christology, biblical scholarship, and ethics. The Theology Institute’s participants include such internationally respected scholars as Charles Curran, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Gustavo Gutierrez, Edward Kilmartin, Bernard Lonergan, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Donald Senior, David Stanley, and Bruce Vawter.
Today, through its annual conferences, lecture series, and related events, the Theology Institute promotes serious and innovative interdisciplinary reflection on religious, cultural, and political issues of importance to the Church. By facilitating dialogue and proposing solutions to “disputed questions” in the Church and in society today, the Theology Institute aims to become a timely and trusted voice in the public discussion of important contested issues. Gathering experts to think through and work out such issues, the Institute demonstrates how theological reflection and teaching are developed within and for the Church as a faith community seeking understanding.