The Catholic University of America

March 1, 2008

Islamic and Christian Scholars Explore Faith and Reason at CUA

Ten Islamic scholars from Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Central Asia and Africa are visiting Catholic University to participate with Christian scholars in a month-long seminar that will begin March 3. They will explore jointly how both groups can live their faiths in present-day circumstances.

In the following months, corresponding work will be carried out in Iran, Pakistan and South East Asia.

Titled "Faith and Reason Today: Fidelity in Our Time," the seminar is co-sponsored by the international Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, which is based at Catholic University, and CUA's Center for the Study of Culture and Values.

Each week during the session, the seminar will address one of the following topics in this order: historical hermeneutics (the interpretation of religious texts), classical Islamic texts on faith and reason, the encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II on faith and reason, and contemporary Islamic authors on faith and reason in our day.

"There is urgent need for deep exploration of the relation of faith and reason, of religion and modern life," says Rev. George F. McLean, professor emeritus of philosophy, director of the center and secretary of the international council. "For this, there is a great need to share our common experience and insight and to think through how a religious perspective can engage the secular mind and how faith can be lived in the modern context."

Each week of the seminar will consist of four working sessions from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Generally, Mondays and Thursdays will be devoted to the discussion of texts chosen for common reading; Tuesdays and Fridays will focus on the critical discussion of texts written by participants.

All sessions take place at the Center for the Study of Culture and Values, Gibbons Hall, Room B10. Faculty and graduate students are invited to attend and should contact Father McLean at 202-319-5910 or For more information about the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, go to

MEDIA: For more information about the seminar or to request an interview with Rev. George F. McLean, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.


The Center for the Study of Culture and Values of The Catholic University of America is dedicated to research and publication that apply cultural heritages to contemporary global interchange. Established in 1977, the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy mobilizes and unites international academic groups and research teams specializing in cultural heritage and values. Together the center and council have published more than 200 books and hold an annual 10-week interdisciplinary seminar at CUA, bringing together philosophers, scholars and opinion leaders from around the world.