Aquinas Lecture: How Can We Talk about God Today?

Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. well known writer, lecturer, preacher and leader presented two lectures on July 8, 9 2014 at Albertus Magnus College.

Timothy is a member of the English Dominican Province and resides at Oxford. He studied at Blackfriars and St. John’s University in Oxford and Paris. From 1992 to 2001 Timothy served as Master of the Dominican Order. Visiting members of the Dominican Order on every continent gave Timothy a breadth of experience for his writing and lectures today.

IMG_5864The first lecture was entitled, “How Can We Talk about God Today?” This lecture spoke about the integrity of the human person who tries to see, hear, touch and speak through the lens of faith and how this perspective changes the person and impacts others. After the lecture Timothy engaged the participants in a lively dialogue.

The second lecture was entitled, “Teaching as an Act of Friendship”. This lecture drew on the connection between truth and the energy love provides in the pursuit of truth and building a relationship between teacher and student. Timothy reminded us of the need to center and focus on what we study and how this stance enhances the study of our students. “We need a contemplative quietness, just being there, whether with a novel or a molecule. We love things by letting them be, giving them space. So the challenge is to introduce your pupils to the tranquil love of things, letting them be, learning not to grab or grasp.”

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Following the lecture four faculty members: Robert Bourgeois, Jeremiah Coffey, Patricia Compagnone – Post and Deborah Frattini shared their perspectives on the lecture. Both Timothy and the responders then engaged the audience in further questions and comments.

 

After the lectures the Albertus Magnus College Bookstore sponsored a book signing for three of Timothy’s books: Take the Plunge, What Is the Point of Being Christian? and Why Go to Church?

Both of these lectures were made possible through the Marie Louise Bianchi’31 Fund which promotes Dominican and Aquinas studies.

Finish Your Educational Journey Here

Have you started your educational journey at a local community college? Are you looking to transition this journey to a four-year school? The New Dimensions program at Albertus Magnus is the place for you! With our easily accessible locations in East Hartford and New Haven, flexible class schedules, and dedicated staff, we are here to make the transition as smooth as possible for you.

Sonny Le, one of our current students in our New Dimensions Program at our East Hartford campus, shares his experience transitioning from a community college to Albertus Magnus College.

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What made you choose Albertus Magnus College/New Dimensions?

Sonny: Well, I currently work a full-time job and needed something that could fit into my busy schedule. The New Dimensions Program at Albertus Magnus College was highly recommended by my co-workers and I love the set-up of having class once a week, on one specific day, from 6 to 10 p.m.

What was your biggest concern about transferring?

Sonny: I had been out of school for a while! I knew I was rusty and was coming back to school to finish my degree as an older adult. I was nervous as to whether or not I could actually do it. Enrolling in the New Dimensions Program really alleviated my fears though, as I would soon find out that most of my classmates were in the same boat as me.

What stood out to you during the Admissions process?

Sonny: The admissions counselors were a tremendous help and were key to this process. As said above, I was nervous about coming back to school full-time and my admissions counselor was there every step of the way. They helped calm my nerves, and patiently walked me through the process of the New Dimensions Program, keeping in touch throughout the whole thing!

How could we have improved the transition for you?

Sonny: Honestly? Nothing. I know with working full-time, and having other commitments, that I was a little slower than I should have been with getting all my requirements completed. But, with all the support and guidance from my admissions counselor, we were able to get it completed on time, together.

What advice would you give to other students looking to transfer?

Sonny: Don’t be nervous! It’s a big step, but it is definitely worth it. I have been in class for about six months now and am 100% happy that I chose the New Dimensions Program at Albertus. The support there is tremendous, both in and out of the classroom and they believe in your success.

If you are interested in finding out more about our New Dimensions Program, click here to discover the program and register to an Open House!

 

Teaching as an Act of Friendship

I had the wonderful privilege to listen to both of the talks that Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. gave at the College this month. In addition to being an incredibly warm and welcoming person, he is a tremendous speaker, with the innate talent to captivate his audience.

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Father Radcliffe has the unique and enviable ability to weave hilarious anecdotes throughout a serious discussion on God and religion in modern culture and classrooms. This manner of speaking draws the audience in, and he certainly had the rapt attention of every person in the room.

In addition to his astonishing speaking  skills, the content of those speeches is far more moving than the way in which the information is being delivered. Father Radcliffe’s talk titled “Teaching as an Act of Friendship”, struck a chord with me. This talk focused on how important it is for professors to form bonds with their students and teach them as equals, and create an atmosphere where the student does not feel as if they are lesser than the professor, but a friend on a journey with a skilled guide. For me, a very recent graduate of the College, this proclamation resembled the experience I had at Albertus with my professors. The atmosphere and learning conditions were such that I was never afraid to ask questions, challenge or debate on the material we we’re engaging.

After Father Radcliffe’s talk, a panel of faculty, including Dr. Deborah Frattini, director of the academic development center and associate professor, Dr. Patty Compagnone-Post, associate professor, Dr. Jeremiah Coffey, chair of the department of philosophy and religion, and Dr. Robert Bourgeois, assistant professor and director of the global studies program, had a chance to respond to the talk.  These responses were remarkable, for they each addressed the challenges of teaching religion or teaching alongside religion, currently, but they also discussed how, as professors they try to make lasting connections with their students and engage them not only with the material they are learning, but how and where that material fits into the big picture of the students’ lives. Dr. Frattini gave an inspiring and moving response of the challenges of teaching modern students but also spoke of the great rewards of such work, a sentiment that was wholeheartedly in line with the lecture of Father Radcliffe.

IMG_5887After two days of listening to Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., and particularly after hearing his lecture on teaching, the faculty panel’s response and Father Radcliffe’s discussion afterwards, I realized how lucky I am to have attended Albertus Magnus College and received this amazing liberal arts and Dominican education. This is a place where students and professors alike can work and learn together as the guide and the guided, not the all-knowing and know-nothing that is often found in so many other universities.

I would like to thank Father Timothy Radcliffe for coming to speak at the College, Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P. and President Julia M. McNamara for organizing this Aquinas Lecture Series, through the generosity of the Marie Louise Bianchi ’31 Fund. Also I would like to thank Albertus Magnus College for always ‘seeking truth in all its dimensions’ and providing its students with faculty that truly does see teaching as an act of friendship.

UQ6A1662Liz McGarry ’14, hails from North Haven, CT and graduated this spring with a bachelor’s in Marketing. In the Fall Liz will be attending Richmond, The American International University in London to pursue a master of arts in Advertising and Public Relations.