Friday, September 03, 2010

Fr. Spitzer's Magis Institute

Fr. Spitzer may have left Gonzaga, but he didn't retire by a long shot. Now he is running the Magis Institute, a combination think tank and spiritual renewal center.
Magis entails three major facets: (1) exploring new frontiers of the mind, particularly in science, philosophy, and theology; (2) pursuing new endeavors of the heart and spirit; and (3) providing resources for others to do likewise.
So far there are two "projects" of Magis, the Center for Reason and Faith, which focuses on the relationship between science, philosophy and theology, and the Center for Catholic Spirituality, which has an Ignatian flavor.

The Center for Reason and Faith has the following description:
The Magis Center of Reason and Faith (MCRF) is dedicated to demonstrating the complementary relationship among physics, philosophy, reason, and faith. In the last ten to fifteen years, rational evidence for the existence of God from the fields of astrophysics, philosophy of mathematics, and metaphysics has increased significantly. Indeed, no other decade in history has revealed more or better evidence for the existence of God. The Magis Center of Reason and Faith is dedicated to exploring the close connection between reason and faith in three areas:
  • The intersection of astrophysics, cosmology, and faith.
  • The intersection between philosophy and faith.
  • Suffering and the love of God.
We are pursuing four projects in each of these areas:

  1. Documentaries featuring outstanding physicists, cosmologists, and philosophers, which will be available on the Center's website free of charge. The first documentary, Astrophysics and Creation, will be available around October, 2010.
  2. Full interviews with physicists and cosmologists, as well as videos, exploring the evidence for the beginning of the universe and supernatural fine-tuning. These will also be available on the website free of charge starting May, 2010.
  3. High school curricula concerned with science and faith, philosophy and faith, and suffering and the love of God. Each curriculum is designed for delivery in the format of one week of fifty minute classes (e.g., a week of religion and/or science classes), beginning in September 2010.
  4. An accredited web-based college course on the philosophy of God addressing the following topics: (1) scientific evidence of a beginning of the universe; (2) philosophical proofs for the existence of God; (3) the question of suffering, evil, and God; and (4) the question of atheism. This course will be available around June, 2011.
The Center for Catholic Spirituality has the following description:
The MAGIS Center for Catholic Spirituality (MCCS) focuses on converting ideas about transforming and healing the culture into action, either as a part of the MCCS or, finally, as independent organizations. Initiatives include the Daily Ignatian Reflections, the Los Angeles and Orange County Catholic Prayer Breakfasts, the Family Legacy Forum, the annual Ignatian Spiritual Retreat, and the MCCS Dinner Speaker Series.

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