Saturday, February 6, 2021 4:00 EST, Harvard Catholic Forum Special Event: “Humanism as an Educational Ideal,” webinar with Fr. John O’Malley, SJ

“Humanism as an Educational Ideal,” webinar with Fr. John O’Malley, SJ. 4:00 PM EST, Saturday, February 6, 2021


The ideal of educating the total human person – the project that took on the name “humanism” –  became a widespread norm for education in the Christian world of early modern Europe, whence it spread to North and South America. This humanist ideal has competed for influence with other educational ideals, most especially with those pursued by universities. Fr. John O’Malley examines the sources of the humanistic style of learning, the place of that style in Catholic culture, and, more broadly, in the world in which we live.  He examines the courses of study that came to characterize it, how humanism has developed and adapted over time, and what may be its prospects in the future.


John W. O’Malley, S.J., University Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University, received his PhD in History from Harvard. He has written widely on the history of Christianity and on the intellectual and cultural world of early modern Europe.  His many academic honors include twenty-one honorary degrees, and eight best-book prizes.  In 2016, he received the Centennial Medal from Harvard’s Graduate School, “the school’s highest honor.”  A member of the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, he was Distinguished Professor of Church History at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge from 1979 to 2006.  Fr. O’Malley is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Among his many books: The First Jesuits, 1993, now in twelve languages; Four Cultures of the West, 2004, and most recently, When Bishops Meet: An Essay Comparing TrentVatican Iand Vatican II, 2019, all from Harvard University Press.


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