Msgr. Tomáš Halík, "How to Interpret the Signs of the Times?"

Pillars Of Vatican

​The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study invites you to attend "How to Interpret the Signs of the Times?," a symposium with Msgr. Dr. Tomáš Halík, Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Charles University (Czech Republic) and 2014 Templeton Prize Laureate.
Discerning the “signs of the time,” God’s speech in the events of history and interpretation of the events of contemporary history as God’s message, was the task of Hebrew prophets and the disciples of Jesus. According to Vatican II, it is a permanent duty of the Church throughout history: “[T]he Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and interpreting them by the light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 4).
“How to Interpret the Signs of the Times?” is the second of three symposia focused on Msgr. Halík’s project, “The Theological Hermeneutic of Contemporary History.” These symposia bring together scholars from numerous disciplines, including history, philosophy, sociology, and theology, to discern the signs of the times by addressing the questions of where to find them, how to interpret them, and how best to respond to them. In this symposium, Msgr. Halik will address key foci in concert with University of Notre Dame and external faculty colleagues:
8:30 am — Introduction
9:00 am — Vatican II and Historical Context: Between Modernity and Postmodernity
10:30 am — Reflecting on the Most Significant Cultural Shifts Since Vatican II
1:15 pm — Christianity in a Secular or Postsecular Age?
2:45 pm — A Church for the Future: In Dialogue with Sociology and Theology?
4:00 pm — Concluding Remarks
Symposium presenters include, among others, Professors Ruth Abbey, John Cavadini, Rob Gimello, Slavica Jakelić, and Todd Walatka.
This symposium is open to all students, staff, faculty and members of the general public.
Brief Biography of Msgr. Professor Tomáš Halík

Tomas Halik

Msgr. Professor Tomáš Halík is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Charles University in Prague. He specializes in philosophy of religion and sociology of religion, interreligious dialogue and dialogue between believers and nonbelievers.

Professor Halík is the author of numerous works in which his focus is the spiritual diagnosis of our times and the dialogue between faith and atheism, including Patience with God (2010), Night of the Confessor (2012) and I Want You to Be (2016). His books have been published in up to 18 languages and have received international recognition and awards. Patience with God (2010) received the prize for the best European Theological Book for 2009-2010 by the decision of European Society for Catholic Theology, and in the United States of America it was named book of the month in July 2010.

He has been a visiting professor at universities including Oxford and Cambridge, and he has lectured at a number of universities and international scholarly conferences in Europe, the United States of America, Asia, Australia, Canada, Latin America, and Southern Africa. He read annual lectures at Harvard University, at Cambridge University, at Calvin College, at Catholic University Leuven, etc. In 1998, Professor Halík was appointed a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He also currently serves as president of the Christian Academy (since 1990) and vice-president of Council for Research in Values and Philosophy in Washington (2015). In 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him advisor to the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers and in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI granted him the title of Monsignor – Honorary Prelate of His Holiness.

Professor Halík has received several international prizes, including the Cardinal Koenig Prize (2003) and the Romano Guardini Prize (2010), the honorary title Man of Reconciliation 2010 for his contribution to dialogue between Christian and Jews, the Medal for intercultural and religious dialogue from the Islamic Fund, and the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2012). In 2014 he was awarded the Templeton Prize. He received an honorary doctorate in Divinity from Erfurt University (2014) and from Oxford University (2016). In the fall of 2015, he served as a Templeton Fellow in residence at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS).