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October 27, Dougherty Hall, East and West Lounge, 10am-7:15pm | Symposium: Between Love, Community, and Truth: William Desmond and the Intimate Universal (open to the publicplease register)

Drawing on and transforming the Augustinian-Catholic intellectual tradition, prominent philosopher, William Desmond  (David Cooke Chair at Villanova) has opened up new ways to think about Love, Community, and Truth. This symposium, as a prelude to the Festival of Augustinian Imagination, will draw together professors, graduate students, and William Desmond himself, to explore the meaning of Caritas, Unitas, and Veritas in the 21st Century.  Schedule of Events

Week 1: Caritas and the Intelligence of the Heart

“Bridging the Mind’s Search for Truth with the Heart’s Need for Connection”  

October 30, St. Augustine Center, Room 400, 3-6pm | Caritas Seminar: In Dialogue with Augustine—and One Another (by invitation) While space for the seminar is limited, please contact Dr. James Wetzel if you¹re interested in participating.

Beginning with a story from the Confessions that illustrates Augustine’s struggle to integrate workplace ambitions and responsibilities into his heart’s intelligence, members of the Caritas seminar will explore ways to navigate the often bumpy road of love and shared purpose in the context of our competitive, always striving-for-more university. The seminar membership – 18 invitees plus three facilitators – will bring together people who rarely have the occasion to spend time with one another in an informal seminar setting: our group will include staff, students, alums, faculty, and administrators from across the colleges.

no strings puppets

November 3, Villanova Room, 1-3pm | Lightness of Heart: The Space of Caritas (open to the public: please register by October 20)

No Strings Productions, recipients of the 2016 Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award, will demonstrate how it is possible to care for the world while doing what you love (in their case, puppetry!).  Come be inspired by their life-saving work and enter into a playful space where you will get to create puppets and inspiration of your own. If you have questions, please contact

Week 2: The Inner Life of Unitas

“Where there is no envy or fear, differences, far from creating divisions, foster harmony.” (Holy Virginity, 29)

November 8, Vasey Studio, 2:30-4pm | Experience the Inner Life of Unity (open to the public: please register

Join workshop facilitator Kimberly Reilly (Theater) for a meditation and mindful movement practice that unites body, mind, and spirit.  The ancient practice of yoga (from the sanskrit yuj – to unite) strives to yoke together our spiritual and corporeal experience in service of cultivating greater inner peace. This workshop will include pranayama (breathing exercises), vinyasa yoga (a flowing sequence of body postures), and guided meditation. No prior experience is necessary, but participants should wear comfortable clothing (including warm layers for meditation). Yoga mats will be available for use but you’re welcome to bring your own.

open mic

November 9, Connelly Center, Belle Aire Terrace, 7-9pm | Open Mic Night: Poets and Storytellers (open to the public: Performers: please register in advance or at event)

We invite all members of the Villanova community to share an original story or poem on the theme of belonging – this means you – all who live, learn, and/or work at Villanova!

Consider the following questions (or others) about belonging: What does it mean to belong? To fit in? What do we belong to? – clubs, families, etc. – Is belonging like membership? How, why and to whom does belonging matter? When have you felt like you belong? When have you felt like you didn’t fit in? When have you impacted another’s sense of belonging? Share your story or poem about belonging in 5 minutes or less (time it!) and without notes.

The evening will be in the spirit of story or poetry slams but it won’t be a competition!  All are welcome to participate and/or to observe and support as audience.

If you have any questions, or for more information, contact Dr. Heidi Rose,

November 10, St. Augustine Center, Room 300, 1-3pm | On Being Part of the Solution: An Interactive Workshop on Activism, Allyship, and Advocacy (open to the public: please register )

This workshop is designed to allow members of the Villanova community to share with each other the tools of activism with a focus on the ever-growing importance of allyship. Billie Murray and Terry Nance of the Department of Communication will lead the group in discussing advocacy in the form of bystander intervention training, organizing, messaging, and social media campaigns. Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences in order to build a community based in allyship and to help further develop a toolkit of best practices for responsible activism.

Week 3: The Endless Horizon of Veritas

“What does ‘You are doing the truth’ mean? You do not flatter yourself, you do not fool yourself, you do not praise yourself. You do not say, ‘I am just,’ when in fact your behavior is bad – then you begin to do the truth.” (Commentary on John 12, 13)

November 13, Connelly Center, Cinema
, 7pm | Cultural Films series: As It Is in Heaven (Kay Pollak, Sweden 2004) (open to the public)

The Swedish film about a famous conductor who returns to his home town to take over as leader of the church choir tells a touching story about the search for community, truth and redemption. A surprise success, the film has enchanted audiences across the globe.  

The film will also screen on November 12, 3:30 and 7pm.

Additionally, from September through April, the Cultured Films series will screen other films related to the theme “Unitas, Caritas, Veritas”.

November 15, Driscoll Auditorium, 7:30pm | St. Augustine Lecture: Catherine Conybeare, initium ut esset: the Creation of Eve (open to the public)

This lecture will dwell on the moment between the creation of Eve and the fall. This moment of indeterminate length – for humans had not yet fallen into time – has been little studied. Yet it is pregnant with extraordinary possibility. Other interpreters of the patristic period failed to exploit this possibility; but it proved an opportunity for Augustine to unleash his theological imagination – and, incidentally, to illustrate a perfect simultaneity of veritas, unitas, and caritas.

November 16, Falvey Library, Room 205, 4:30pm | Gerd Van Riel (St. Augustine Fellow), Augustine’s Truth (open to the public)

Augustine’s understanding of truth is more than a way to check on whether the words correspond to the facts; in fact, it can appear to lack an objective point of reference. This lecture will refer to his theory of the internal word (On the Trinity) as a basis for his method of interpreting the Bible (Confessions XII), thus showing what he means by ‘standing in the truth’ rather than possessing it.


The Festival of Augustinian Imagination on Social Media

Keep an eye out for the Festival of Augustinian Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.! Throughout the three weeks of the Festival, students are invited to share their experiences of caritas, unitas and veritas through social media. Look for the hashtag #NovaFest175

Event Archive

Past Events

Reading Group: Faith and Identity in a Pluralist World

The Faith & Culture Forum proposes to reflect on the interaction between faiths of all kinds and culture. Both faith and culture can mean very different things, and as a first step to clarifying their relationship, we would like to reflect some more on the meaning of faith and identity in a pluralist world. And thus we invite you to join a reading group starting in the spring term that will begin with discussing some chapters of Eboo Patel’s reflection on faith, identity and culture, Acts of Faith, and then move on to other texts that participants propose. We very much hope that you will join us and add your insights, experiences and ideas to an important discussion!

Friday April 7, 2016 12:30 - 2:30, Corr 103

Come and join us to watch and discuss the film "Out of Cordoba": In this very timely documentary, filmmaker Jacob Bender explores historical and contemporary endeavors by Jews, Christians and Muslims to create a culture of shared life and justice drawing on the resources of their religious traditions.

  • Meetings in spring will be held in Corr Hall, room 103:
    The reading materials can be downloaded from the link below. To prepare for the discussions please read:
    January 27, 12:30-2:30pm - Introduction and Chapters 3 and 4
    March 3, 12:30-2:30pm - Chapters 5 and 6
    April 7, 12:30-2:30pm


Please let Trudy Pacella know if you are interested in participating in one or all of the reading groups. If you know of other colleagues or students who may be interested, please invite them to join the discussion by also informing Trudy Pacella.   

* Faith and Culture Readings_Acts of Faith.pdf
Grace of Playing Poster March 24 2pm to 6pm in Driscoll Hall

The Grace of Playing:
A Conversation on Sports and Their Role in Human Flourishing

March 24, 2017, 2–6PM,
Driscoll Auditorium, Villanova University

Sponsored by the Institute for Catholic Social Thought/Faith and Culture Forum
Co-sponsored by: Athletics, Ethics Program, Gender and Women Studies Program, Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies

Why do we play?  That sports play a fundamental role in human development is without question. However, the philosophical, theological, and spiritual foundations of sports remain largely unexamined. While mediated through distinct social, political and historical contexts, the desire to play appears universal. Play frees the human spirit and lightens one up; it allows one to imagine and experience different worlds and relationships; it creates community and provides the possibility for self-knowledge about one’s physical and mental capacities; it teaches us to deal with failure as well as with success, with joy and with pain. Thus sports are a rich source of meaning and value in life.

What is the role of sports in human flourishing? Inculturated in specific social, political situations, sports contribute to human development and decline: the value of organized sports in our current North Atlantic context is ambiguous. Athletic endeavors shape and are in turn shaped by our culture’s understandings of truth, beauty, and goodness, they contribute to the flourishing of humans in their embodied existence; and yet in the educational, social and economic system of the US, they can easily be hijacked by philosophies of “winning-at-all-costs” and be cooped into systems of exclusion and injustice that inhibit the good life of individuals and communities. The American culture of sports contributes, sometimes in conflicting ways, to larger debates about the human person and has been both an agent of social justice and a barrier to it.


2:00 pm Welcome and opening video message from Mark Jackson, Director Villanova Athletics Department
2:30 pm Panel I: Foundations of Play
                       Edward Hastings, Cesar R. Torres, Nicole LaVoi

Short break

4:00 pm Panel II: The American Culture of Sports and Human Flourishing?
                        Yago Colás, Marcia Mount Shoop, Kevin Blackistone

5:30pm Reception

Open to the public – attend as your schedule permits!

Panelists will include:

  • Mark Jackson, Athletic Director, Villanova University (Opening Remarks via Video)
  • Edward Hastings, PhD, Assistant Professor of Theology and the Director of Graduate Program in Theology and Ministry at Villanova University.
  • Cesar Torres, PhD, Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Physical Education at The College at Brockport, State University of New York.
  • Nicole LaVoi, PhD, Senior Lecturer in the area of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota.
  • Santiago (Yago) Colás, PhD, Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and in the Residential College, at the University of Michigan, where he researches and teaches the culture of sports.
  • Marcia Mount Shoop, PhD, theologian, minister, activist, and blogger, based in North Carolina. Her writing reflects her experiences as a woman, a mother, and a football coach's wife as well as from her years of work on difficult issues, dialogue, and healing around race, gender, cross-cultural community formation, ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue, and sexual violence.
  • Kevin Blackistone, M.S.,  a longtime national sports columnist now at The Washington Post, a panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn, and a visiting professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
(L to R) Dr. Katie Grimes, Kevin Blackistone, Rev. Marcia Mount Shoop, Dr. Yago Colas

(L to R) Dr. Katie Grimes, Kevin Blackistone, Rev. Marcia Mount Shoop, Dr. Yago Colas

Kevin Blackistone with Villanova students

Kevin Blackistone with Villanova students

(L to R) Dr. Timonthy Hanchin, Dr. Edward Hastings, Dr. Cesar Torres, Dr. Nicole LaVoi

(L to R) Dr. Timonthy Hanchin, Dr. Edward Hastings, Dr. Cesar Torres, Dr. Nicole LaVoi