"The Lost Edges of the Modern Research University: A Catholic Philosophical Critique"

Reinhard Hütter
Professor of Theology
Duke Divinity School

We attend, work at, participate in, and carry deep and enduring affinities for our universities. But why do universities exist? What purpose have they, do they, and ought they to serve? What types of good do they aim to effect? What are the best means to bring about these ends?

Clearly, each academic discipline that constitutes the modern research university is defined by and dedicated to the rigorous study of the nature of its particular objects of interest. But what is the nature of the University that houses each of these disciplines? and what is the nature of the relationship of the University to its external culture?

What could the Catholic intellectual tradition disclose about the past, present, and future of the university as a unique place and activity dedicated to the fulfillment of a more audacious universal purpose? Duke University Professor Reinhard Hütter advanced these largely unspoken but essential questions, challenging us to consider and to think through the possibility that the modern university's depth and trajectory is unwittingly and precariously insufficient to maintain itself as the foundation for or the most compelling edges of a flourishing human culture.  If you missed this fascinating talk, please view it here

Professor Hütter is Professor of Christian Theology at Duke University Divinity School, where he teaches in the areas of systematic and philosophical theology, as well as theological anthropology. He is the author and coeditor of eight scholarly books and numerous articles, reviews, and translations. His most recent publications include Reason and the Reasons of Faith (ed. with Paul J. Griffiths) and Ressourcement Thomism: Sacred Doctrine, the Sacraments, and the Moral Life (ed. with Matthew Levering). His forthcoming book is Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Eerdmans 2012). In addition to numerous scholarly honors, Professor Hütter also has served as editor of Pro Ecclesia: a Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology and is currently serving as coeditor of Nova et Vetera: The English Edition of the International Theological Journal.

This public lecture is cosponsored by the Department of Religious Studies.




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