Monday, October 20, 2014

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Marian Renewal Conference Set for the University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame will be hosting a conference to reflect on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s relationship to Christ and the Church, according to the University.

Notre Dame’s conference, “Mary On the Eve of the Second Vatican Council,” is being sponsored by the University’s Institute for Church Life from Oct. 6-8 and is free and open to the public. Conference organizers hope to help Catholics better “understand” and “embrace” Mary by examining writings on Marian theology from the 20th century.

John Cavadini, professor of theology and director of the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, said that much work on Mary was forgotten after the Second Vatican Council.

“The idea is to retrieve, in a critical scholarly way, a lot of the ferment in Marian theology that was going on in the decades and years leading up to the Council… Some of this very creative theology surfaced in Council documents, but in the wake of the Council, Marian theology pretty much fell off a cliff, and all the ferment and creativity basically ceased.”

The works of thinkers like Hans Urs von Balthasar and Thomas Merton will be examined with “new eyes,” according to Cavadini, “in order to prompt a renewal.”

The conference presenters include professors from Notre Dame and Catholic colleges and seminaries across the country, including the College of Saint Mary Magdalen and the Catholic University of America, which are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity. 

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