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Renowned Historian to Explore How Christian Faith Discovers the Holy Spirit

Duquesne University’s Holy Spirit Lecture and Colloquium has consistently drawn scholars that are leading figures in their field who examine and address ideas regarding the theology of the Holy Spirit. The Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., will present The Unexpected God: How Christian Faith Discovers the Holy Spirit, at the seventh annual Holy Spirit Lecture on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom.

Daley, the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, is a member of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, which, in 2003, made a statement of historical importance: the Filioque need no longer divide the Eastern and Western traditions. These two Christian traditions had divergent understandings and Creeds concerning the origin of the Spirit, according to the Rev. Radu Bordeianu, assistant professor of theology and director of the Holy Spirit Lecture and Colloquium.

“If the Orthodox affirmed in their Creed that the Holy Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father,’ the Catholic tradition confessed that the Holy Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father and the Son’ (Filioque, in Latin),” said Bordeianu. “As a member of the Theological Commission, Fr. Daley thus had a significant contribution to this thorny issue.”

Daley will discuss the origin of the Holy Spirit, an issue that is significant for Catholic-Orthodox relations, Bordeianu said. “How can we get closer to saying the Creed together? This would be a necessary step towards achieving full communion between the two Christian families,” Bordeianu explained. “Presently, Orthodox and Catholics do not receive communion together, but they are engaged in dialogue to achieve this goal, and the discussion about the Holy Spirit is a necessary step in this direction.”

In addition, Daley will speak about the identity of the Holy Spirit in general, paying special attention to the tradition of the early Church.

Daley studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and taught historical theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology before joining the faculty at Notre Dame. He is the author of The Hope of the Early Church, On the Dormition of Mary:  Early Patristic Homilies and Gregory of Nazianzus. Daley is a member of the editorial boards of several scholarly journals and has served as a trustee of Le Moyne College, Boston College and Fordham and Georgetown universities.

“Fr. Daley is a world-renowned historian, widely published, whose contribution to historical studies cannot be underestimated,” added Bordeianu. “At the same time, he has the ability to relate history to contemporary issues. He is a very engaging speaker.”

The Holy Spirit Lecture is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception. Registration is requested. To register, e-mail holyspirit@duq.edu or call 412.396.6526.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.