Ghianda Becerril, Staff Writer
The Center for Thomas More Studies at the University of Dallas will present a series of Lectures titled “Cicero and Augustine on Education and Citizenship: What is Liberal Education” and “Augustine, The Liberal Arts, and the Theater of Life” on Friday, Nov. 9.
This series, sponsored by the Apgar Foundation, will have two different lectures given by Dr. Walter Nicgorski from the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Michael Foley from Baylor University. The first will be given at 4 p.m., and the second at 7 p.m.
The second lecture will be given to honor Reverend Ernest L. Fortin (1923-2002) who was best known for his pioneering of a working political philosophy and its relation to Catholic Sacred teaching, according to English professor Dr. Gerard Wegemer. As a professor of political science at Assumption College, Fortin was the author of nine books and several hundred articles on theology, medieval literature, political philosophy and modern Catholic social thought.
Fortin’s writings are, “in his own words, ‘born of a desire to know more about the world in which we live, the philosophic, religious, and political forces that shaped it, and the type of human being it tends to produce,’” Wegemer said.
Past conferences have covered tradition essential to the English Renaissance and to America’s founding, the Shield of Achilles across UD’s core, and Shakespeare and Thomas More on Law and Citizenship.
The talks on Friday will cover the elements of Augustine’s own liberal education and what it allowed him to do with the course of his life, as well as the type of education he thought was needed beyond the liberal arts. The program will also address Cicero’s and Augustine’s understanding of the studia humanitatis.
“Annual conferences and lectures treat the best ‘cases’ in the history and literature of the West as presented by such authors as Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Thomas More, Shakespeare and the American Founders,” Wegemer said. “This series aims to understand the nature of citizenship and the role played by liberal education, rule by law and other essential components identified by the tradition.”