The Catholic University of America

Media Advisory


Public Forum: "Faith in a Secular Age" Led by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Professor and Author Charles Taylor

WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19

WHERE: The Catholic University of America
Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, Great Room B
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.


Catholic University's Center for the Study of Culture and Values presents a public forum led by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Professor Charles Taylor, Board of Trustees Professor of Law and Philosophy at Northwestern University, 2007 Templeton Prize winner and author of the book A Secular Age. The forum will kick off a 15-month research project that will re-examine religion and faith for both the spiritual seeker and all the faithful in this secular age.

The research project by two teams of scholars on the topic "Faith in a Secular Age" will be based at CUA's Center for the Study of Culture and Values and the Jesuit Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

The project builds upon the findings of a recent Pew Foundation report, which suggests that young people who leave the Church do not so much abandon their beliefs as reflect them in an attitude of "personal search" rather than of institutional commitment.

Taylor's book questions what happens when a society in which it is virtually impossible not to believe in God becomes one in which faith is one human possibility among others. The book is both a history of this transformation and a philosophical look at its implications. The Templeton Prize is an award of more than $1.5 million that honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension - whether through insight, discovery or practical works.

Following the discussion by Cardinal George and Professor Taylor, the audience will be invited to share their insights on how the research project can be best carried out.

One of the research teams will work with Rev. John Haughey, S.J., research fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and study the individual search for meaning. The other team will work with William Barbieri, associate professor of theology and religious studies at Catholic University, and study the role of the spirit in the socio-political global order.

The forum is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. To register, visit For more information, e-mail or call 202-319-6089.

SPONSOR: Center for the Study of Culture and Values/Council for Research in Values and Philosophy

MEDIA: To cover the forum, reporters must contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.