I’m interested in spending a good chunk of my time during 2015 talking about Fr. John Courtney Murray. This guy lived out a real-life theological adventure story, he faced some powerful opposition gracefully and obediently, and he ended up having a bigger impact on the doctrine of the Catholic Church than any American has ever had. I had such a great time learning about him and writing about him for my new book, I’m itching to get the word out about him among Catholics today. Not enough of us know about him.
If you’re interested in hearing about him at a parish adult education program, a conference, or other event, drop me a line and we’ll talk. I’ll make sure it’s affordable for your organization or parish. What you’ll get is a dynamic presentation — no monotonous droning on, no reading from Powerpoints or texts — that is interesting and even surprising. And it won’t be something you need a theology degree to understand. I’m not a professional academic; I’m in Catholic publishing, and I know how to make things clear and engaging.
You’ll hear about where things stood in Catholic theology on the topic of religious freedom when John Courtney Murray took up the question, the fascinating way he offered a new way of looking at the topic while constantly insisting on being faithful to orthodox Catholic teaching, and the result that shook up the Second Vatican Council and led to the remarkable achievements of people like Pope John Paul II that would not have been possible without Murray.
I’ll talk for about 50 minutes (and you will not be bored), backed up by plenty of helpful photos, and then there will be time for question and answer. I’ll have copies of my new book, Struggle, Condemnation, Vindication: John Courtney Murray’s Journey toward Vatican II, available for purchase and signing. For a sense of the sort of presentation I give, take a look at this article on one that I recently delivered at the annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference (written by a reporter I didn’t know was in the room at the time).
Oh, and 2015 is a great time to learn about Murray, because this December will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Freedom, of which Murray was a central architect. Let’s mark the anniversary in a fitting way.
I’m not out to make a killing; it just doesn’t work that way for this kind of work. What I want is to make the great stuff I’ve learned more widely available. (And if you want to really make the visit worthwhile and arrange for a second dynamic talk the next day — for example, on Pope Francis and Catholic social teaching, on Oscar Romero, or the crucial place of the Eucharistic prayer in Catholic worship — we can do that, too.)
If this sounds worth looking into, email me at barryhudock[at]gmail[dot]com, and we’ll talk. Thank for considering it.