2017 Australian Lonergan Workshop

Openness as fact, achievement, gift

Openness to the real and the good: questioning is the key, and truth will set us free

Friday 28 April to Sunday 30th April, 2017, St Mary’s College, The University of Melbourne, Parkville

Friday 28th April

Tom Daly Oration – an Oration in Honour of Fr Tom Daly, SJ

Professor Matthew Ogilvie, School of Philosophy and Theology, Notre Dame University, Perth

“The Truth Will Set You Free”

This oration pays tribute to the work and legacy of Fr Tom Daly by exploring truth, openness to the real, and the key role of questioning in coming to truth. The oration explores the meaning and virtue of truth and addresses some contemporary challenges to truth, including the “post-truth age” associated with current politics, political correctness and “safe spaces” on university campuses, Christian fundamentalism and Islamic extremism.

Professor Matthew Ogilvie is currently Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He previously served as Dean of Philosophy and Theology at Notre Dame Australia, Associate Professor and Director of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Dallas, Texas and a postdoctoral fellow at the Lonergan Center, Boston College. He completed his PhD at the University of Sydney in 1996 under the supervision of Prof. Eric Sharpe and Fr Tom Daly, SJ. In 1991, he completed his Masters in Theology under the supervision of Fr Peter Beer, SJ. In 2002, Professor Ogilvie was the recipient of the John Charles Beer Travelling Fellowship, for which he is most grateful.

Audio (56m 46s)

Questions and discussion

Audio(28m 51s)

Saturday 29th April

Keynote presentation

Professor M Shawn Copeland, Theology Department, Boston College

“Openness to the real, seeking the good, questioning as key”

In this keynote presentation, Professor Copeland set the scene for the Workshop by reflecting on how she does (political) theology and searches for the good in the intractable situation of being black in the United States.

Professor Copeland is Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College. She is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), and a former Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars. Professor Copeland is a prolific author, with more than 100 publications to her credit including Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race and Being and The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille. She is the recipient of five honorary degrees as well as the Yves Congar Award for Excellence in Theology from Barry University, Miami, Florida, and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Black Religious Scholars Group of the American Academy of Religion.

Video (21m 32s)   Audio (21m 32s)

Questions and discussion



Geoffrey Brodie, teacher at St.Patrick’s College, Ballarat

The education moment and the ethics of gift

Over recent years, the Melbourne Lonergan Circle had engaged with many dimensions of education, teaching and learning. This workshop was an invitation into that on-going conversation. The workshop sought to bring the unity of Lonergan’s functional specialties to the conversation to discern the commitments required of those in education.

Audio Part 1 (37m 57s)  Audio Part 2 (47m 19s) Slides

Sunday 30th April


Dr Stephen Ames, Honorary Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Divinity

“Does Lonergan shed light on why God would use evolution to bring new things into existence?”


Dr Sean McNelis, Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology

“Science in the service of the eschaton”

Audio (20m 27s)    Presentation