Mathematics and Ethics: The Two Sciences with Demonstrable Truths

Professor James Franklin

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales

Synopsis: Where empirical sciences like physics and sociology rely on observation and experiment, abstract sciences like mathematics and ethics don’t. The basic truths in them are accessible by pure thought which reveals necessary truths about reality (though some wisdom is needed when it comes to applications). Plato was right: immersion in mathematics induces an understanding of the necessities underpinning reality, an understanding that is essential for distinguishing objective ethics from tribal custom. Equality, for example, is an abstract concept which is foundational for both mathematics and ethics.

James Franklin is Honorary Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales, where he has taught mathematics since 1981 and served many years as Professor of Mathematics. He is Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Ethics and Society at Notre Dame University, Sydney and Editor of the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society. A prolific author, his books include Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia; An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics, What Science Knows: And How It Knows It and Catholic Values and Australian Realities. He was awarded the 2005 ACU Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics, partly for research on the parallels between mathematics and ethics. His current work is on the worth of persons as the foundational concept in ethics.

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OBEYING OUR OWN CREATIONS – God and Disenchantment in Amazon’s World

PROFESSOR WILLIAM T. CAVANAUGH

Professor of Catholic Studies and the Director of the Centre for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University.

A century ago, Max Weber declared that the modern Western world was disenchanted: gods and spirits were pushed aside by rationalizing forces, especially science and capitalism. But Weber also worried about a new type of enchantment, that people had become subjected to forces of our own making that were increasingly out of our control. This lecture explores disenchantment and enchantment in a world dominated by Amazon.com, the epitome of rationalization, and the purveyor of magical commodities.

Professor William T. Cavanaugh is currently Professor of Catholic Studies and the Director of the Centre for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University in Chicago. He is one the world’s leading researchers working at the intersection of ethics, politics, and the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition. He is the author of The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2009), Torture and the Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ (Blackwell, 1998), Theopolitical Imagination (T&T Clark, 2003), Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (Eerdmans, 2008), Field Hospital: The Church’s Engagement With a Wounded World (Eerdmans, 2016), and Migrations of the Holy (Eerdmans, 2011). He is the co-editor of three volumes, including The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (Blackwell, 2003), and co-editor of the journal Modern Theology. His books have been published in 12 languages and have influenced an entire generation of scholars interested in using the resources of the Catholic tradition to develop fresh alternatives to moral and political reflection than those provided by secularism.

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The Godless Country? Part 3 with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP

MOST REVEREND ANTHONY FISHER OP

ARCHBISHOP OF SYDNEY.

Are we living in a Godless country? Though there are strong forces that would tell us the age of religion is past, Archbishop Anthony Fisher is not so sure… In his last two talks he suggested that, though we have both post-Christian and Christian strands in our society, neither is an appropriate term for contemporary Australia. In this final lecture, he will suggest the reality is the opposite: Christianity is yet to have its heyday, and so we are ‘pre-Christian’.

This presentation will conclude with closing remarks from Greg Sheridan AO- The Australian’s Foreign Editor and Author of ‘God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times’.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher completed his studies in Arts and Law at the University of Sydney and soon set off into the world of Corporate Law.

After practicing in a city firm in Sydney, the future Archbishop Fisher joined the Dominicans. He studied for the priesthood in Melbourne before further studies took him to Oxford where he received his Doctorate in Bioethics.

In his almost 15 years as a Bishop, his episcopal ministry has seen him serve first as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, including as the coordinator of World Youth Day 2008; Bishop of Parramatta and now as the ninth Archbishop of Sydney.

Archbishop Fisher is a prolific writer and through his letters, lectures, preaching and diocesan projects has addressed a range of questions and matters from the existence of God through to the contemporary challenges for life, marriage and family.

​For a full biography of Archbishop Anthony Fisher please visit www.sydneycatholic.org

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THE GODLESS COUNTRY? Part II: Christian Australia

MOST REVEREND ANTHONY FISHER OP

ARCHBISHOP OF SYDNEY.

Are we living in a Christian country? Certainly, Christianity is the largest religious group in Australia: Christianity influences our language, our culture, even our law… It underpins our social ideologies, and is the backbone of the largest school system after the state system. But I wonder…  In this talk I will ask where the Church is situated in the mind of modern Australia, and whether ‘Christian’ is really an apt description for our  culture.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher completed his studies in Arts and Law at the University of Sydney and soon set off into the world of Corporate Law.

After practicing in a city firm in Sydney, the future Archbishop Fisher joined the Dominicans. He studied for the priesthood in Melbourne before further studies took him to Oxford where he received his Doctorate in Bioethics.

In his almost 15 years as a Bishop, his episcopal ministry has seen him serve first as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, including as the coordinator of World Youth Day 2008; Bishop of Parramatta and now as the ninth Archbishop of Sydney.

​Archbishop Fisher is a prolific writer and through his letters, lectures, preaching and diocesan projects has addressed a range of questions and matters from the existence of God through to the contemporary challenges for life, marriage and family.

​For a full biography of Archbishop Anthony Fisher please visit www.sydneycatholic.org

FAITH, REASON AND LOVE

PROFESSOR TRACEY ROWLAND

Saint John Paul II Chair of Theology.

The relationship between faith and reason is one of those couplets in Catholic theology which keeps bobbing up just when you think that the debates have been put to bed. This lecture will take the form of an intellectual history tour beginning with the treatment of revelation in Dei Filius (Vatican I), moving through to the more historical presentation of revelation in Dei Verbum (Vatican II), with a detour through the French Thomist debates of the 1930s, then onto the theology of Benedict XVI which brings love into the faith-reason relationship, and finally, concludes with reference to the treatment of the theological virtue of faith in Lumen Fidei.

Professor Tracey Rowland

Professor Tracey Rowland holds two doctorates in theology, one from the Divinity School of Cambridge University (the civil PhD) and one from the John Paul II Institute at the Pontifical Lateran University (the pontifical STD) in addition to degrees in law and philosophy.

She began her studies at the University of Queensland where she completed her honours degree under the supervision of the Czech political theorist Vendulka Kubalkova. From 1988-1993 she lectured in Soviet and Central European Politics at Monash University while completing a Masters degree in contemporary Central European political theory.

From 1994-1996 she was a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law at Griffith University with a focus on jurisprudence and Constitutional and Administrative Law. In 1996 she won a Commonwealth Scholarship to Cambridge University to work on her doctorate.

During the Australian Constitution Referendum year of 1999 she was an executive assistant to the Director of the No Case “pro-monarchy” campaign for the State of Victoria. From 2001-2017 she was the Dean of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. In 2010 she was awarded the Archbishop Michael J Miller Award by the University of St Thomas in Houston, Texas, for the promotion of faith and culture. In 2011 she was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and in 2014 she was appointed to the International Theological Commission. She is currently a member of the ITC’s sub-commission on religious freedom.

David Collits

David is completing a PhD at the University of Notre Dame, Australia under the supervision of Professors Tracey Rowland and Renee Kohler-Ryan, and Dr Paul Morrissey. His doctoral research concerns the interactions between the thought of Josef Pieper and Joseph Ratzinger, specifically regarding the supra-historical character of hope and the relationship of their views on hope and history to the nature-grace, faith-reason, history-ontology relationships. He has degrees in arts, law and theology. Prior to working as the private secretary and research officer to Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP at the Diocese of Parramatta and Archdiocese of Sydney, he was employed as a solicitor at Clayton Utz and tipstaff to the Hon Justice Macfarlan of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He is married with three young children.

ATHENS & JERUSALEM: FAITH & REASON, OPPONENTS OR ALLIES?

Professor John Haldane

J. Newton Rayzor Sr Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University.

Is Greek rationality opposed to biblical revelation or have the two wings of truth soared high for over two thousand years? Professor John Haldane leads us through an intellectual history of the rational and the religious.

Beginning with Tertullian’s famous remark “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem”, Professor Haldane outlines key moments where the Church has wrestled with the philosophical reason of Athenian philosophy before suggesting how reason  comes to the aid of faith and conversely, how faith aids our broader understanding of human nature.

John Haldane is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, a Senior Fellow at St. Andrews’ Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, the J. Newton Rayzor, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, and one of the world’s leading researchers on the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition.

Professor Haldane has published over 200 academic papers, and is co-author of ‘Atheism and Theism’ in Blackwell’s Tomorrow’s Classics list, and author of An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Religion (2003), Faithful Reason (2006) Practical Philosophy (2009), and Reasonable Faith (2010). He also has collections intended for general readers: Seeking Meaning and Making Sense (2008), The Church and the World (2008) and Arts and Minds (in preparation). He has also edited many books and is founding and general editor of St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs. In addition to academic work, Professor Haldane also writes for leading papers and periodicals and appears on radio and television.

See more of Professor Haldane’s work at johnhaldane.org

THE GODLESS COUNTRY?

MOST REVEREND ANTHONY FISHER OP

Archbishop of Sydney.

Are we living in a post-Christian Australia? So some people proudly proclaimed when more people marked “no religion” on the last census than marked “Catholic”. Declining religious affiliation in the secularising West, damaged Church credibility after the Royal Commission, relentless hostility to faith from sections of the media, bureaucracy and academy, the drip by drip reduction of religious liberties… there are reasons to think faith is doomed in Australia. But I wonder… The Archbishop’s talk addresses questions on where the Church is going in the face of these challenges, and whether ‘post-Christian’ is really an apt description for our culture.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher completed his studies in Arts and Law at the University of Sydney and soon set off into the world of Corporate Law.

After practicing in a city firm in Sydney, the future Archbishop Fisher joined the Dominicans. He studied for the priesthood in Melbourne before further studies took him to Oxford where he received his Doctorate in Bioethics.

In his almost 15 years as a Bishop, his episcopal ministry has seen him serve first as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, including as the coordinator of World Youth Day 2008; Bishop of Parramatta and now as the ninth Archbishop of Sydney.

​Archbishop Fisher is a prolific writer and through his letters, lectures, preaching and diocesan projects has addressed a range of questions and matters from the existence of God through to the contemporary challenges for life, marriage and family.

​For a full biography of Archbishop Anthony Fisher please visit www.sydneycatholic.org

THE RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF POPULISM

THE RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF POPULISM

DR ADRIAN PABST.
Reader in Politics, University of Kent.
With response from Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney.

Since the French Revolution Western politics has revolved around the left-right divide. With Brexit, Trump and the run-off between Macron and Le Pen in France, we are seeing a shift away from this old opposition towards a new polarity between liberals and anti-liberals. In one sense, this marks a revulsion against secular liberalism and its attack on traditions and practices rooted in Christianity and other faiths. But in another sense, some populist revolts are driven by forces that apply religion to advance a counter-modernity which is just as secular as the liberalism it opposes precisely because it appeals to the unmediated will of The People and related concepts originating from modern secularism.

Adrian holds a number of roles. Since 2007, he has been an associate editor of the critical theory journal TELOS. In 2015 he joined the academic board of the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice whose main mission is to promote Catholic Social Thought. He is also a trustee of The James Madison Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to the study of federal systems – linked to his role as Director of Kent’s Centre for Federal Studies.

In November 2017 he was appointed as a Fellow of the The National Institute of Economic and Social Research where he works on a Nuffield-funded project about British fiscal policy.

During his study leave in 2018, he is the Sir Peter Lawler Visiting Fellow at the PM Glynn Institute (Australian Catholic University), a public philosophy, politics and policy think-tank where he works on the labour tradition with a focus on Catholic Social Thought and distributism.

Please visit the University of Kent for full biography