Napa Seminar: “Reason & Faith”


A Seminar and Breakfast

Hosted by Thomas Aquinas College


In conjunction with the
Meritage Resort and Spa
Napa, Calif. | July 24, 2014
Breakfast: 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Seminar: 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

In his first encyclical, Pope Francis notes that many of our contemporaries think of faith as an illusion. For them, he says, faith appears “as an illusory light, preventing mankind from boldly setting out in quest of knowledge.” The Holy Father rejects this perception, insisting that faith has a coherence and objectivity that, when properly understood, enables it to be a light for all nations.

Some eight centuries earlier, St. Thomas Aquinas likewise defended the reasonableness of faith, while also noting the ways in which it is above rational scrutiny. In his Summa Contra Gentiles, he challenges readers to consider the extent to which human reason can comprehend the truth of faith. His writing bolsters Pope Francis’s call for faith to illumine all aspects of our lives, equipping us to bring the light of faith to the skeptical culture that the Holy Father describes.

Please join members of the faculty of Thomas Aquinas College for a buffet breakfast and seminar about the meaning and implications of St. Thomas Aquinas’s thoughts on Reason and Faith (PDF), one of the themes of this year’s Napa Institute conference, “Catholics in the Next America.” The seminar will take place on the first morning of the conference, Thursday, July 24, 2014.

This seminar is not a lecture; nor is it a discourse among a panel of experts. Everyone in attendance is invited to participate actively in the conversation, working together to distill and analyze the meaning of this important document. Leading the seminar will be the College’s president, Dr. Michael F. McLean, and its vice president, Dr. Paul J. O’Reilly. Dr. McLean and Dr. O’Reilly have collectively spent more than 50 years leading seminars as members of the Thomas Aquinas College teaching faculty. At the College, all classes are taught via the Discussion Method. The curriculum consists exclusively of the great books of Western civilization, including various Church documents and encyclicals.

Some Comments from Past Participants:

  • “Great and fascinating discussion.”
  • “The seminar was excellent. Excellent format, excellent discussion.”
  • “Perfect topic for today’s event.”

Registration for the seminar and breakfast is open only to registered attendees of the Napa Institute Conference. To participate in the seminar and breakfast:

1. Register for the Napa Institute Conference.

2. Register for the Thomas Aquinas College Seminar and Breakfast.

3. Read the brief, highly accessible reading. The College will mail you a copy, but you can also download it here. (Note: Before printing the document, make sure your printer is set to “landscape” orientation.)

Space is limited — register now! Questions? Please e-mail Robert Bagdazian or call, 805-421-5927.